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SDLP and Fianna Fáil fail to protect democratic rights - Anderson

28 February, 2019 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has hit out at the SDLP after Fianna Fáil failed to support, and even criticised, a bid by Sinn Féin to retain European representation for Northern citizens after Brexit.

Sinn Féin had tabled an amendment to the European Parliament Elections Amendment Bill to ensure that two extra MEP seats for Ireland as a result of Brexit, would be allocated to the North.

Fianna Fáil made it clear that they would not support Sinn Féin’s amendment and went as far as to describe it as “crass” and “inflammatory”.

The amendment was ruled out of order by the Ceann Comhairle.

Speaking today the Sinn Féin MEP said;

“This was the first test of the SDLP/Fianna Fáil partnership.  

“Would the SDLP use this partnership to ensure that Fianna Fáil reps would stand up for the rights of Irish and European citizens in the North?  The clear answer is no.

“The Sinn Féin proposal would have seen the two additional European Parliament seats allocated to the North post-Brexit. The legal advice was clear that this was possible and the best way of mitigating the disenfranchisement of northern citizens caused by Brexit.

“However, even before it was due to be debated on the floor of the Dáil, Fianna Fáil poured cold water on the idea and went on the attack.

“That is not good enough and it raises serious questions for the SDLP.

“There is still a chance for the SDLP to exert some influence on this issue as Sinn Féin will table the amendment again in the Seanad as well as this amendment to both the Brexit Omnibus and the Euro Parliament Bills.”

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