SINN FÉIN have told British Prime Minister Theresa May that a referendum on a united Ireland must be held ‘as a matter of urgency’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Party leader Mary Lou McDonald spoke to the Prime Minister by phone this evening following a torrid 24 hours for the British premier.
Yesterday she delayed Parliament’s vote on her controversial Brexit deal, which was due to take place today, while BBC News reports Tory Brexiteers hope to trigger a no-confidence vote in their party leader.
McDonald said she and Deputy Dáil Leader Pearse Doherty spoke to May this evening to say the contentious backstop was ‘non-negotiable’.
“Myself and Pearse Doherty spoke with Theresa May for 20 minutes this evening during which we raised concerns about her course of action,” said McDonald.
“We told the British Prime Minister that the basic protections contained in the backstop are non-negotiable and cannot be unpicked or diluted.
“We raised concerns that we are facing into a no-deal or a crash Brexit which would be a disaster for Ireland.
“And we reminded Mrs May that, in those circumstances, a Unity Referendum must be called as a matter of urgency.
“As I told the Taoiseach today, Irish unity is the ultimate contingency to protect our interests in the event of a crash brexit.”
While Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil Ireland must up its contingency planning to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, he called Sinn Féin’s plans for a Unity Referendum ‘disruptive’.
May is set to travel to Dublin tomorrow for a meeting with the Taoiseach.