May Day reminds us of our internationalist values and importance of UK-Irish relationship

01 May 2019

Speaking on Labour Day, 1st May, the leader of the Irish Labour Party Brendan Howlin confirmed Labour’s long-standing internationalist values.

Brendan Howlin TD pledged to support the future Irish-British relationship, through our links with the British Labour Party, whether inside or outside of the European Union.

Brendan said: “The Labour Party is the oldest political party continuously active in Ireland, and we have long had a good working relationship with our sister party, the UK Labour Party, which will remain a valued member of the Party of European Socialists. We send fraternal delegates to the British Labour Conference every year.

“Brexit has divided the British people and has caused divisions within the UK Labour Party. Any form of Brexit will be damaging to the Irish economy, but we will not allow Brexit to damage the bonds of friendship and solidarity between our two labour movements. Our preference was always for the UK to stay in the EU, but we hold out a hand of friendship to those of our Labour comrades who voted Leave.

“The Irish Labour Party’s European Manifesto, to be launched today, pledges to uphold the rights of British people living in Ireland post-Brexit. We will also use our influence within the European Union to support any initiative from a future British government to re-join.

“We will seek to ensure European funding continues to be available to support peace, regional development and better community relations in Northern Ireland.

“With the local elections in Britain happening tomorrow, I would call on all Irish people living in Britain to give Labour your vote.

“For Northern Ireland’s local elections tomorrow, I hope people will support progressive candidates in the SDLP who share Labour’s values.

“And I hope British citizens living in Ireland will consider supporting Irish Labour at our local and European elections on 24th May. British citizens are eligible to vote in Ireland, and have until 7th May to register.”



To register to vote in Ireland visit


The deadline is 7th May.

Labour’s European Manifesto Pledges

The EU and the UK need to have a good working relationship in the future, Irish Labour MEPs would be well placed to promote this

  • The EU must recognise the mutual rights of Irish and UK citizens as part of the Common Travel Area – including the rights of Irish citizens who are living in the UK and British citizens who live here in Ireland – especially if there is a no withdrawal agreement between the EU and UK
  • If there is no second Brexit referendum held in the UK, then we need to ensure that any future relationship the EU has with the UK is as close as possible to one where Britain is a member of the Single Market and Customs Union
  • We will fully back any initiative from a future UK government for the UK to re-join the EU
  • With our colleagues in the trade union movement, Labour MEPs will seek to ensure that the UK at least keeps the equivalent of EU standards into the future when it comes to important areas such as workers’ rights, consumer protection and for the environment
  • Labour MEPs will demand that Irish citizens’ EU rights – including social securit y and pe nsion entitlements, and recognition of educational qualifications of those living in Northern Ireland and Britain – are fully protected after Brexit
  • We will advocate for EU funding programmes in Northern Ireland to be maintained post-Brexit, particularly the PEACE IV and INTERREG VA programmes


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