People want action on Irish unity says Hazzard as debate rumbles on.
Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said the Irish government needs to begin preparing for Irish unity as a matter of urgency.
The South Down MP said: “It is clear there is a growing demand for Irish unity across the island and conversations on the issue are well underway.
“There have been calls made for a number of years for a forum or other body to discuss unity and that is evidence of the increasing interest in unity. “But what nationalists want to see is action; not just words.
“People want to see the Irish government living up to its responsibilities under the Good Friday Agreement, including its provision for a referendum on Irish unity.
“We now need to see the Irish government actively beginning preparations for Irish unity in earnest.
“This should involve:
- the setting up of a joint Oireachtas committee on Irish unity,
- the convening of a Citizen’s Assembly representative of the island,
- and the publication of a white paper on Irish unity.
“It is now time for the Irish government to act,” said Mr Hazzard.
The coalition government in the Republic of Ireland composed of Fianna Fail, Finn Gael and the Green Party has pushed Sinn Fein onto the political ropes. It has tried to outplay Sinn Féin by suggesting other forms of dialogue and structures need to be set up to move the Irish Unity agenda forward, but Sinn Féin is sticking to its guns and saying the terms of the Good Friday Agreement should be met.
Sinn Féin in the run up to the Irish election earlier this year campaigned on wanting a vote on Irish Unity by 2025. They are pushing the other parties and although they were the biggest in terms of votes, they could not form a government.
Fianna Fail Taoiseach Micheál Martin has also said that he is willing to talk to the Protestant / Unionist / Loyalist communities going forward.
The next Irish general election may be different as the impacts of Brexit will be hurting the Irish and Northern Ireland economy by that time and innovative solutions will be needed to protect the people on both sides of the border.
Could a United Ireland become a reality sooner than later ?
That is the key question in Irish politics today and all parties in the Republic of Ireland will be positioning for this possible eventuality as the clamour for Irish Unity increases both sides of the border.