SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood calls for national discussion on Irish Unity

Posted By: August 03, 2017

Derry Now is part of Rivermedia, the Irish media business which operates six local newspapers in the north west of Ireland. 
Wednesday, August 2,  2017
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has welcomed a report of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement into Brexit and the future of Ireland.
Mr. Eastwood repeated his call for Nationalism across the island to advance the process of mapping Irish Unity in a way that includes and respects all traditions.
He said: “Today’s report from the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement is an important body of work that should stimulate the discussions we’ve been having on Brexit and the constitutional future of the island.
“Their recommendations that Northern Ireland should be designated with a special status and continue to enjoy access to EU funding programs, for example, are critical to protecting the economic and social interests of people living here.
“Brexit remains the most significant constitutional challenge to face these islands since partition. The prospect of a hard border, with customs checks and immigration controls across this island, should be a wakeup call to us all.
“It’s critical that in facing up to the scale of that challenge, that we scale up our ambition.
“The SDLP continues to believe that Irish Unification is the biggest and the best idea around. This report should now prompt a national discussion on unity, our constitutional and economic future that includes and respects all traditions on the island.
“Irish nationalism needs to get down to the kind of work undertaken by Scottish nationalists in advance of their independence referendum. They produced a 600-page document that outlined how health and education would work, how infrastructure and investment opportunities could be developed. It’s time we put in the hard yards to transform our political aspiration into a cogent and compelling future for the people of this island.
“The work undertaken by the Committee and by Senator Mark Daly is critical to that national discussion.”