This decade is crucial for the reorganization of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and planning for referendums in five years “must begin now,” Sinn Fin said on Tuesday.
Irish Nationalist Party leader Mary Lou MacDonald said she expects reorganization referendums to take place in both countries within a decade.
Speaking at an online briefing organized by the Foreign Press Association, McDonald noted that referendums under the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Convention require federal approval from London.
McDonald said the “transition period” would come after a vote of confidence across Ireland, which was expected to take place already, but “it has not begun because of resistance from the British government, and obviously not so surprising”.
The international community must understand that the British government is not neutral because they are conservatives and trade unionists, underlined Sinn Fin’s leader.
She said preparations should begin now and that this was a dangerous position and that there was a reluctance in Dublin to speak out.
“We need systematic, peaceful, democratic (constitutional) change,” McDonald said.
She said all reorganization issues should be discussed between Belfast and Dublin and a vote of confidence could take place within the next five years.
Sinn Fin’s leader said 51% of the vote on the reorganization of Northern Ireland would be enough, but “of course we aim to go beyond that.”
She added: “It is up to us to decide the question of Irish unity, and there is resonance and repercussions in Europe and around the world.”
They called it “the end and the ultimate goal of a successful peace process.” We live in a very exciting time. “
McDonald’s has said the country will begin a “countdown” to reorganization referendums after the Northern Ireland Assembly elections next summer.
McDonald’s ressed that the UK central government would decide whether to hold a referendum in Northern Ireland on whether the so-called border referendum on the Good Friday deal had been met.
Under the UK’s Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland allows a referendum if a majority of voters want Northern Ireland to cease to be part of the UK and become part of a united Ireland.
However, McDonald’s said the British government had consistently refused to specify the required number of votes, and that the Good Friday agreement was not clear on the need to launch reorganization referendums in the north of Ireland and Ireland.
Most of the trade unionists in Northern Ireland went, “People should not lose sight of the importance of this,” she added.
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