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Referendum on Irish unity only solution to no deal Brexit - O'Neill

22 September, 2019 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtaran Michelle O’Neill has said a no deal Brexit is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement and if it occurs then a referendum on Irish unity offers the only solution.

Speaking at a public debate organised by Sinn Féin during the British Labour Party conference in Brighton, Michelle O’Neill said:

“A no deal Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement are mutually incompatible. It’s as simple as that.

“There is a deal on the table and it includes the Irish backstop which must be maintained as an insurance policy and guarantee to protect peace, jobs and the all-Ireland economy and structures.

“In the event of a no deal Brexit, however, a referendum on a united Ireland is an obvious option which must be on the table.

“There is a growing sense that circumstances are now rapidly changing which will inevitably lead to the final break-up of the current constitutional structures.

“People from across this society, even those of a British identity, are now seriously questioning whether there are any merits of staying within the union after Brexit.

“The Good Friday Agreement provides a peaceful democratic pathway to Irish Unity.

“The issue of Irish Unity has taken on a new dynamic because of Brexit. This cannot be ignored.

“The political momentum is moving in that direction.

“The EU has said in the event of Irish reunification the North would automatically rejoin the EU.

“People are coming to the Irish Unity conversation not to become republicans and nationalists, but to remain Europeans - and the opportunity to stay in the European Union, through separation from Britain.

“It can no longer be dismissed as a pipe dream.

“Not only is this possible, but it is inevitable in the time ahead.”

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