"Unity referendum an opportunity to build a new future" - Sheerin
Sinn Féin MLA Emma Sheerin has said the provision for a unity referendum contained in the Good Friday Agreement offer an opportunity to build a new future for everyone.
The Mid Ulster MLA said:
"The DUP’s Alex Easton states that he believes that the concurrent referendums on Irish Unity, indicated in the Good Friday Agreement, would be lost.
"While I disagree with Mr Easton's assessment, I welcome discussion on the topic.
“The Good Friday Agreement states that the Referendums must be called if it appears likely that a majority of those voting would express a wish that the North should form part of a united Ireland.
"This is not merely an option for the British Government - it is a legal requirement, endorsed by the people of Ireland in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
"I contend that the criteria have been met to initiate plans for the referendums.
"There is an opportunity to build a better Ireland, for everyone, regardless of their political persuasion.
"Leading economists such as Professor Kurt Hubner and David McWilliams have produced works showing the benefits of unity.
"Sinn Féin believes that the time to prepare for the Good Friday Agreement referendums is now.
"Let the people decide whether their future is best served by maintaining the status quo or unlocking the benefits of a united, inclusive, respectful and prosperous Ireland."