Huge Brexit risks for Ireland over coming weeks

26 September 2019

Returning after four days at the UK Labour Conference in Brighton, during another dramatic week in British politics, the leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD, welcomed the solidarity of the British Labour leadership for Ireland, but warned of the huge risks for Ireland over the coming weeks.

At the conference, Deputy Howlin engaged and met with key stakeholders including Jermey Corbyn, Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, Tom Watson, Tony Lloyd, Steven Pound, business groups, MPs and members from across the UK.

Brendan said: “I’ve attended four UK Labour Conferences since the unwelcome vote by the British people to leave the European Union. My message every time has been the same: to promote the idea of putting whatever exit deal is negotiated back to the people again for a final say, with the option on the ballot paper of remaining a full member.

“I’m glad that the official UK Labour position is now exactly this. If Labour is in government in the UK, a fresh referendum of the people will be held, with the option to remain on the ballot paper.

“My colleagues and I have looked on in horror at the disintegration of normal politics and constitutional norms in the UK in recent times. Prime Minister Johnson’s rebuttal of the Supreme Court judgement against him displayed all the hallmarks of right-wing populists like Donald Trump and Viktor Orbán, and is frankly dangerous for British democracy.

“The current instability and unpredictability of British politics means that nothing can be taken for granted and the risks to Ireland are still enormous, in terms of how a ‘no deal’ Brexit would impact upon our economy and our people.

“All of us must continue to influence anyone in the UK who can prevent the UK from crashing out of the EU.

“I’m grateful for the understanding and solidarity with Ireland that I’ve heard in my meetings with the leadership of the UK Labour Party and with Labour MPs and members. They are fully aware of the dangerous implications of any hard Brexit for the entire island of Ireland.”


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