Sinn Féin president: PM must call Irish border poll in the event of hard border

The Prime Minister must call a border poll in the event of a hard border following Brexit, the Sinn Féin president has said.

Mary Lou McDonald is due to meet Boris Johnson and said she will remind him of his “obligations under the Good Friday and subsequent agreements including the provision for a unity referendum”.

“If the British Government have factored into their calculations a hard border, then they must factor in a unity referendum as laid out in the Good Friday Agreement,” she said.

“The route back for the North into the EU is clear. Irish unity is the route back to the EU.

“We will be meeting Boris Johnson in the coming days. We will remind him not only of the need to respect the wishes of the majority to remain within the EU.

Read on...

“We will also remind him of his obligations under the Good Friday and subsequent agreements including the provision for a unity referendum.”

Addressing a meeting of party members, McDonald described Johnson as “jingoistic and bullish”, adding “he is not my Prime Minister”.

Last week Irish premier Leo Varadkar said a no-deal Brexit would prompt more liberal unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland to consider joining a united Ireland.

McDonald urged the Taoiseach to appoint an Irish Government Minister of State to develop strategies to advance Irish unity.

“Partition has failed,” she said.

“It has prevented this island from reaching its potential for nearly a century.

“Brexit will serve only to reinforce that partition and further damage our island.

“The Government has to begin planning for unity.”

The Sinn Féin president also gave an update on the talks to revive the powersharing government at Stormont which has been collapsed since January 2017.

She said meetings “have been held but little progress was made”.

“This round of talks to restore the powersharing government have thus far failed to achieve agreement,” she said.

“This is because these key issues have not been faced up to yet.

“The DUP are focusing on protecting the Union with Britain above all else regardless of the consequences for society, for the economy or for the people.”

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us