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The EU should support Irish reunification, Mary Lou McDonald tells BBC

The Sinn Féin leader also said the British government needs to start preparing itself for this constitutional change.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald has said she will be asking the European Union to support Irish reunification if she is part of the next government.

Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight in Dublin, McDonald said, even before this election the country was heading towards a border poll.

“You have Brexit, you have changing demographics, you have the fact that the unionist majority has been lost in the North over the last number of elections, so that is the direction of travel,” she said. 

She said it was irresponsible for politicians not to “bury their heads in the sand” on this issue.

Whoever now makes up the next government, those preparations need to start. And could I also say those on the island of Britain and in London in particular need to start preparing because constitutional change is coming.

McDonald said she would be making asks of the European system in terms of long-term Irish interests and on the issue of partition.

“I think the European Union needs to take a stand in respect of Ireland in the say way that it supported the reunification of Germany, in the same way that it has a position on Cyprus, for example, and a positive approach to the reunification of that country.

I think Ireland is no different.

“I think it would be correct for our allies and our friends for anybody who cares about this country and our people, it is plain to see that partition and division has been a disaster, and that reunification, reconciliation and good relationships with our next door neighbours is the way forward.”

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