The Irish Government must plan for reunification and seek a Unity referendum in the event of a no-deal crash Brexit, Sinn Féin Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald has said.
Commenting in Belfast, she also insisted that the North’s power-sharing institutions can and should be restored.
“While the Taoiseach has the responsibility to lead the debate on Irish Unity he should appoint an Irish Government Minister of State with the dedicated and specific responsibility of developing strategies to advance Irish unity and coordinating the Government’s all-Ireland policies,” Mary Lou McDonald said.
“Michelle O’Neill and I will also be meeting Boris Johnson tomorrow and we will remind him of the need to respect the wishes of the majority in the North to remain within the EU.
“We will also remind him of his obligations under the Good Friday and subsequent agreements including the provision for a unity referendum.
“And we will tell him that 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.”
On the issue of the negotiations to restore the Stormont institutions, Mary Lou McDonald added:
“Sinn Féin wants to see the power sharing arrangements working and delivering for citizens. Let there be no doubt about that.
“The key issues – well known publicly and all rights based and for the benefit of everyone – must be resolved.
“The majority of MLAs are against Brexit, ongoing Tory austerity and the cutting of public services.
“They are also socially progressive.
“I would hope that all parties, with a mandate who have called for the res-establishment of the Executive will be partners in power-sharing.
“Those parties can shape the incoming executive and assembly in opposing Brexit and pushing forward on progressive social and economic changes.”