United Kingdom

Sinn Fein deepens division by pushing for Irish unity. Wilson

However, Sinn Fein MP Chris Hazzard said that while his party was not calling for an immediate referendum, he insisted it was “farcical” to say it was too early to start preparations for one.

They were responding to the Tánaiste’s comments over the weekend Leo Varadkar who said a border inquiry would not be “appropriate or right” at this time.

Mr Varadkar instead called for a focus on recovery Stormont institutions and resolving issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the time was not right for a border poll in Ireland (Damien Storan/PA) / PA wire

DUP East MP Sammy Wilson agreed the border inquiry would be divisive.

He told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme: “If you look at what’s happened in Scotland, of course the poll will be very divisive.

“Leo Varadkar knows that, I think the dogs on the street know it will be divisive and I think we all know that Sinn Féin want to increase division in Northern Ireland, which is why they are now demanding a referendum.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson (Liam McBurney / PA) / PA archive

“I think people should notice that during the pre-election campaign they were very silent about this, they tried to present a soft face.

“Now, of course, we see that Sinn Féin’s main agenda, the only agenda, is to destroy Northern Ireland.”

Mr Wilson said Northern Ireland was “nowhere near” the conditions set out in the Good Friday Agreement for a border referendum to be called by the Secretary of State.

Any sensible person knows that Northern Ireland’s position in the UK is a much safer economic position than throwing in its lot with the Republic of Ireland.

He added: “We know what Sinn Fein’s agenda is. It is to destabilize Northern Ireland, to call into question its very existence, and planning a referendum gives them the same effect as holding a referendum itself.

“It allows them to create division, create uncertainty about the future of Northern Ireland and create the impression that people in Northern Ireland want this constitutional change, which of course we know they don’t.

“Any reasonable person knows that Northern Ireland’s position in the UK is a much safer economic position than being in its position with the Republic of Ireland, which not long ago had to be bailed out by the UK government during the banking crisis. “.

Sinn Fein recently emerged as the largest party in Stormont after the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, and a number of polls have put the party in the lead in the Republic as well.

Sinn Fein MP Chris Hazzard has said preparations must be made for a referendum (Liam McBurney/PA) / PA archive

The party’s South Down MP Chris Hazzard said: “I don’t know a single person who would support a referendum on Irish unity today, tomorrow or next week.

“People say we have to talk, we have to plan, we have to prepare.

“Brexit and the Tories’ chaotic approach to negotiating with Europe shows the importance of planning, it shows the importance of preparation.”

25 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, it is farcical to assume that it is too early to start planning the referendum.

Mr. Hazzard added: “We now have a situation where more people in the north are applying for Irish passports than are applying for British passports and I have no doubt that the census figures later this year will show further social and demographic changes.

“That in itself is not enough to say today, let’s have a referendum, but it is enough to say that 25 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, it is farcical to suggest that it is too early to start planning for a referendum.

“Let’s talk about what the future looks like.”

Speaking on Sunday, Mr Varadkar said the drive for a united Ireland was legitimate.

But he added: “I don’t think it’s appropriate or right at this point.

“Basically, because I think we need to get the Assembly and the Executive going.

“We have to solve the procedural issues.

“And I think it can be done.”

Sinn Fein deepens division by pushing for Irish unity. Wilson

Source Sinn Fein deepens division by pushing for Irish unity. Wilson

Back to top button