Comments on the visit to Ireland by Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer MP
Today, Thursday 9th June, Irish Labour Party Leader Ivana Bacik TD met with British Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer MP in Dublin on the occasion of his first official visit to Ireland in his capacity as Party Leader.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Today, on the occasion of his first official visit to Ireland since his election as the Leader of the British Labour Party, I was glad to meet with Keir Starmer MP to discuss the need for strong Labour movements in both jurisdictions, and about the need for a fair and lasting resolution to the ongoing political turmoil in Northern Ireland, following the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections.
“The ongoing issues around implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the British Government’s reckless approach to it, as well as the approach of the Democratic Unionist Party, is of deep concern to us both. The people of Northern Ireland deserve better than to have their democracy, and their democratic institutions, used as a bargaining chip.
“I was glad that Keir Starmer and his British Labour colleagues met with both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss these challenges. As we navigate a way through, we must ensure the protection of peace, prosperity and parity of esteem in Northern Ireland, as well as the rule of law. The spirit of the Good Friday Agreement remains the yardstick which should continue to inspire us to reach a resolution that enables the effective operation of democratic institutions. Openness and a generosity of spirit on all sides is needed to make a success of what emerges from this politically tumultuous period. I look forward to further engagement with all parties in coming weeks, months and years to realise our vision for a fairer and more equal future for all on this shared island.
“Labour wants a united Ireland, a shared island and it believes in our potential to build a true republic. But we believe that unification means a unity of people before any unity of territory. To get there, an all-island citizens’ assembly, approved by the Stormont Assembly as well as the Oireachtas, must be constituted; and a generosity of spirit on both sides will be needed to make a success of whatever emerges over the next decade or so. Our collective task is a serious one which will involve profound change across the island.”