Posted By: November 29, 2016

adamsIrish News (Belfast). November 29, 2016

vision: Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams wants

Secretary of State James Brokenshire, inset, to trigger a

referendum on Irish reunification.


Secretary of State James Brokenshire has the power to

trigger a border poll

Brexit has swept away assumptions about the partition of Ireland and presented a unique

opportunity to press for reunification, Gerry Adams said as he launched a new Sinn Féin unity blueprint.

Under the party’s vision for a united Ireland, there would be a series of enshrined protections for unionists, including the option of British citizenship, and the potential retention of a devolved power-sharing administration at Stormont.

The party’s discussion document claims “Brexit has changed everything”, arguing that the UK-wide vote to the leave the EU, in the face of a majority vote in Northern Ireland (56 per cent) to remain, has major implications for the debate about the island’s constitutional future.

The paper claims some unionists, particularly “young and liberal” voters, were now willing to explore the potential of a united Ireland.

Sinn Féin said an all-Ireland vote on unification should take place in the next political term.

Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement, the secretary of state has the power to trigger a poll on unity, but only if he or she believes there has been a shift in public opinion in favor of changing the constitutional position.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire has said there is no evidence that Brexit has prompted such a change of opinion.

Sinn Féin president Mr. Adams said it was “incomprehensible” to have one part of Ireland within the EU and one outside it.

The document was launched in Belfast and Dublin on Monday morning. Mr. Adams, who penned the document’s foreword, did not attend either of the launches as he is en route to Cuba for Fidel Castro’s funeral.

“The Brexit referendum result has swept away many of the previous political assumptions about the constitutional, political and economic status quo in Ireland,” he said.

“Ireland’s political landscape, north and south, has been transformed dramatically.

“Massive uncertainties have been triggered about the implications for business, trade, jobs, social protections, educational opportunities, and future political and economic stability.

“This poses huge challenges for Irish national interests.

“For English and Welsh votes to drag the north of Ireland out of the EU against the will of its people would, like partition itself, be yet another travesty of democracy and would undermine the Good Friday Agreement.

“It is now vitally important that there is maximum cooperation to uphold the democratic wishes of the people of the north.

“Ultimately, the only realistic way to ensure this is through the unity of the island of Ireland.”

Mr. Adams said partition was stunting the “political, economic, social and cultural” potential of Ireland.

The paper also questioned the argument that the Republic could not afford Northern Ireland, describing that as a “myth”.

It challenged the level to which the UK government subsidizes Northern Ireland, claiming the sum could be as low as £2.7 billion a year.

“The island of Ireland is currently administered by two states and three governments – in Dublin, Belfast and London,” Mr. Adams said.

“This system is wasteful, inefficient and incapable of successfully prioritizing the interests of the Irish people that require an integrated vision for the island.”