Varadkar recklessly disregards poll, claims McDonald

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition
Mary Lou McDonald said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition

Mary Lou McDonald has accused the taoiseach of being “reckless” and of failing to adequately prepare for a border poll.

Almost half of voters in Northern Ireland would support a united Ireland if Britain left the EU under the withdrawal agreement that has been reached, according to a poll commissioned by The Times this week.

The Sinn Féin leader said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition and she said she had told Theresa May this.

“If there is a hard Brexit and no deal then the immediacy of a border poll is self-evident,” Ms McDonald said. “You couldn’t possibly have a no-deal Brexit, resulting in the hardening of the border and suggest people would simply have to live with that.

“I have made that clear to the British prime minister and said it would have to be done very quickly in those circumstances. Beyond that I want us to have one as soon as possible but I also want us to win and I want us to win it well.”

She criticised Leo Varadkar and said that the government should be planning for the economic and social implications of reunification. “The government should be leading from the front on this. All of the polling data on this tells us categorically that the conversation has started and the genie is out of the bottle,” Ms McDonald said.

“The taoiseach needs to catch up. As head of government he needs to tell us how the conversation on unity will be structured. It is reckless for him to sit back and wish this away or pretend it is not happening.”

She said the main task for politicians was to maximise consensus but that the needs of those who were against leaving the United Kingdom would also have to be considered. “We understand we need an all-of-society conversation on what would be fundamental change. We are very conscious of the fact that people who do not support a united Ireland would have to be part of the conversation too. We would have to discover their red lines. There is a lot of work to be done,” Ms McDonald said.

Another part of the poll suggested that one in four unionists think the DUP would be wrong to reject Mrs May’s withdrawal deal. Almost four in ten unionists also disagreed or strongly disagreed that the DUP’s tactics in refusing to back it were correct.

Ms McDonald said she was not surprised Ms Foster’s party appeared to be out of step with some of its own voters. “I believe the DUP adopted a position on the Brexit referendum, never dreaming that Brexit would actually happen, and I don’t think they have had the political pragmatism or the political sense of responsibility to step back from that,” she said.

“Brexit is bad for Ireland and it’s particularly bad for the North and I think people are onto that. I’m not one bit surprised that people across the community, including those who would always vote for the union, look at Brexit and see nothing, only danger and jeopardy and they are wondering what Arlene Foster and the DUP are up to.”

Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland secretary, will urge both communities today to rally support for the deal in an open letter to voters. “It protects all the things we value,” Ms Bradley will say.

The so-called meaningful vote in the British parliament is scheduled for Tuesday, when MPs will have their say on the withdrawal deal. Mrs May’s deal is expected to be rejected.

With many thanks to the: Times Sunday Times for the original story.

Author: seachranaidhe1

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

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