THERE MUST BE A REFERENDUM ON IRISH UNITY TO AFFIRM IRISH SELF-DETERMINATION
“There is a democratic imperative to provide Irish citizens with the right to vote in a border poll referendum on Irish unity to end partition and retain a role in the EU.”
“A border poll referendum on Irish unity is part of the process of building a modern and dynamic New Republic on this island – an agreed Ireland achieved by peaceful and democratic means.” -Martin McGuinness
Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the British Government committed to formally “recognize that it is for the people of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent…” Provisions were included for Border Polls referenda on Irish unity, whose results would be given effect by the governmental parties to the Agreement. The Agreement went on to commit that the signatory parties (including the British Government) should not “make any change in the status of Northern Ireland save with the consent of a majority of its people” (italics added).
Despite the fact that Brexit clearly represents a “change in status” of Northern Ireland, and despite the fact that the people of the north voted by a large majority (56%) to reject Brexit and remain inside the European Union, the British government is determined to impose this very significant change (having potentially profound consequences for Ireland), on the people of Ireland north and south, against their democratically expressed wishes.
If the Good Friday Agreement’s commitments to self-determination are to have any meaning, the British Government must allow the Irish people the opportunity to determine their future.