Second Referendum offers chance to limit damage

23 September 2018

Speaking in advance of his three-day visit to the British Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Brendan Howlin TD, Leader of the Irish Labour Party spoke about his hope for a second referendum on the UK’s relationship with the Europen Union.

Deputy Howlin said

“I warmly welcome statements by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, that they would acquiese if a majority of Labour members voted in favour of a second referendum on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.

“Let’s face it, two years ago, few people knew much about how the EU’s customs union or single market operate, never mind the more obscure agreements underpinning air transport or radioactive materials often used in our medical devices.

“In any democracy, people should always have the right to deliberate and vote again when they have gained access to new information or had a chance to understand more clearly the implications of a decision.

“British workers certainly never voted to be poorer. And recent opinion polls suggest that there has been a major shift in people’s views, with the vast majority of Labour members in favour of a second vote, and indeed in favour of remaining inside the European Union.

“From an Irish perspective, there is no such thing as a good Brexit, only damage limitation, as Ireland’s economy is so closely bound up with the UK’s. Also, a hardened border in Northern Ireland would profoundly disrupt social and economic wellbeing there.

“Ireland would warmly welcome an outcome where the British people voted to remain in the EU, and I am confident that other European countries would likewise welcome such a vote.”


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