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SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood and Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood and Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin.

Fianna Fáil and SDLP urge all 'pro-Remain' parties to back 5 Brexit principles

The statement calls on Sinn Féin to take its seats in Westminster to vote down a no-deal Brexit, saying that “every vote counts”.
Feb 22nd 2019, 9:01 AM 11,272 42

A JOINT STATEMENT has been issued by the leaders of Fianna Fáil and the SDLP, urging all parties on the island of Ireland in favour of the UK remaining in the EU to back five “core principles” they have set out.

Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood have said that, with just 36 days to go until Brexit, that “all pro-remain parties must recognise and invoke five core principles necessary to stave off the worst outcomes of Brexit”.

The statement also calls on Sinn Féin’s seven MPs to take its seats in Westminster to vote down a no-deal Brexit, saying that “every vote counts”.

Those “five core principles” are:

  1. The restoration of the Stormont Assembly
  2. Standing firm on the backstop.
  3. A no-deal Brexit must be voted down: “All pro-remain parties have a duty, whether it be in the Assembly, the Dáil or in Westminster to make every vote count”
  4. Reassuring unionists that constitutional change can only come about through the Good Friday Agreement
  5. Reconciliation: “We must work to ensure that peace, through the spirit that delivered the Good Friday Agreement, is a priority we never let slip.”

The two leaders said that parties against Brexit should agree to a joint statement on Brexit.

“The arithmetic in Westminster no longer allows us to leave anything to chance. Brexit can only be stopped by actions, not words or placards. Extraordinary times call for more than ordinary measures.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Dara Calleary said that the party has extended the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Fine Gael minority government in order to create some stability for Brexit.

“The difficulty is Brexit is such a complicated process, we have to give space to measure that impact. That’s why we’ve extended it out to another Budget, to allow the country to prepare for Brexit.”

He said that some party members were “frustrated” by the extension, which he said was an understandable reaction.  

“The government is getting it wrong in every aspect in relation to healthcare,” he said, but added that because of Brexit and until they had all the information about the Children’s Hospital, that it didn’t make sense to act on those issues just yet.

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