Time for Mary Lou to put Ireland first

05 June 2018

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin said that Sinn Fein should attend Westminster on June 12 next to support Lords’ Amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Mrs May’s Government announced that they would be dealing with the House of Lords’ Amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill in a single day on June 12th. The manner of Mrs May‘s actions have already been condemned by those opposed to Mrs May’s Hard Brexit policy.

“The amendments being discussed, if confirmed, by the Commons include confirmation of support for the Good Friday Agreement, parliamentary control over the final Brexit Deal and membership of a customs union. There will be further crucial votes on trade and customs legislation later down the road.

“The reality is that Mrs May’s freedom of manoeuvre is being enhanced almost has much by the absence of Irish nationalists from the House of Commons as it is by the support of the DUP.

“I have always understood the difficulty posed for Sinn Fein by such a move, but surely it is time to put the country, north and south, first. Sinn Fein will talk about its mandate but I believe that its supporters and the wider Irish public would not only understand if Mary Lou McDonald felt she had a duty to act, but that they would be supportive.

“If a crucial vote is lost by less than the number of Sinn Fein MPs who might have voted then that party will bear some of the responsibility for what will follow.

”Ireland is united in its opposition to this Hard Brexit policy. It is time this point is made where a real difference can be made.”

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