Dodds and Nicholson need to explain why they voted against continuation of PEACE funding
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has criticized fellow MEPs from the north, Diane Dodds and Jim Nicholson after they voted against an amendment in the European Parliament calling for the continued support of PEACE funding in the north and border counties.
Ms Anderson said,
“My party colleague Liadh Ní Riada tabled an amendment to the resolution on the review of the EU budget up until 2020.
“The amendment noted the important contribution that the EU has made to encouraging peace and reconciliation in Ireland, in particular through PEACE programmes and in the wake of the Brexit referendum, calls on the Commission to continue its support for the peace process through the continued funding of the PEACE programme;
“It is probable that the vote to Leave could cause grave problems for the peace process and the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement and we in Sinn Féin were appreciative that 541, out of 751 MEPs also recognised that.
“However, I find it astonishing that my colleagues from the north, Jim Nicholson and Diane Dodds, not only did not support this motion, but they voted against it. Do they not want the peace process upheld? Are they happy for the PEACE funding to expire, resulting in towns, communities and groups within our constituency weakening?
“This support from the EU was one of the reasons we believed so strongly in a remain vote, and possibly the reason why many of the 56% in the north also voted to remain. It is now essential that Jim Nicholson and Diane Dodds explain their reasoning for rejecting this amendment.” ENDS
NOTES: Full wording of amendment below:
Peace Process in Ireland
41 a. Notes the important contribution that the EU has made to encouraging peace and reconciliation in Ireland, in particular through PEACE programmes, which are targeted at northern Ireland and border counties in the south; notes that the result of the UK referendum might create grave problems for the peace process, and undermines the integrity of the peace process and of the Good Friday Agreement; calls on the Commission to continue its support for the peace process through the continued funding of the PEACE programme;