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11th October 2019 | Brexit, Press Releases

Northern Ireland referendum may be the best way of getting consent for any Brexit deal – Greens

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Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said today:

“A referendum in Northern Ireland may be the best way of getting consent for any Brexit deal.
 
“We think a referendum rather than a vote in Stormont will be the best way of showing  the consent or rejection of the people in Northern Ireland for any Brexit deal.
 
“We know there can be difficulties in the use of referendums but in this case we think it is the best way forward.  The question to be put to the people should be whether or not they agree to the deal.  It should not ask them to consider any other wider constitutional issues.
 
“The alternative approach of having a confirmatory vote in Stormont brings real risks.  The assembly has not been sitting now for over two years and it makes no sense to give any one party or number of parties an effective Veto over the whole process. We should not be deciding this issue along sectarian or party political lines.
 
“If the people voted for the deal and the transitional arrangments then it would give much needed stability and real democratic consent to what is taking place.”

Green Party’s foreign affairs spokesperson with special responsibility for Brexit, Cllr Vincent P Martin said:

“At the heart of the Good Friday Agreement is the principle of consent. We believe that a solution the current entrenched impasse is to let the UK exit the backstop whenever it wants – provided the British government first agrees to put a question to the people of Northern Ireland. Consent is the key.”