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Sein Fein demand vote on Irish reunification to follow no-deal Brexit

Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sein Fein has said it is “unthinkable” that a no-deal Brexit was not followed by a vote on Irish reunification.

Sein Fein’s statement follows bilateral meetings with the new Prime Minister, Borris Johnson and the other five main parties at Storming on Wednesday. The meeting was ostensibly about the deadlock negotiations over Brexit. The Guardian notes that Northern Ireland’s devolved assembly and executive have been suspended since January 2017.

The Democratic Union Party’s (DUP) leader, Ariene Foster, has stated that Johnson dismissed the idea of a reunification poll and maintained that the Prime Minister reiterated “ that he would never be neutral on the union”. 

In response to these negotiations, Downing Street released a statement which said that Johnson was committed to withdrawing the UK from the EU on 31 October but also the government is committed to the Belfast-Good Friday agreement. The statement claims that under “no circumstances would there be physical checks or infrastructure on the border”.

The DUP entered into a coalition with the Conservative government in the last general election in 2,017. Whilst the DUP is in coalition with the government there is little support for Brexit in Northern Ireland. 

On BBC Radio 4’s Today program, the DUP chief whip, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson warned that “at the very high end of the scale” there could be 40,000 jobs losses.

Mary Lou McDonald has been sceptical over Johnson’s position stating:

“He tells us that he will act with absolute impartiality. We’ve told him that nobody believes that. Nobody believes that because there are no grounds to believe that there is any kind of impartiality, much less strict impartiality.”