This is my speech from the extraordinary plenary earlier today.
We stand by the vote of Ireland, which like Scotland voted Remain. We accept, respect and will defend the clear wishes of the people of the north of Ireland.
However, if English votes drag us out of the EU against our democratic will that is simply “Britannia waives the rules”
I tell you, the last thing that Ireland could tolerate would be an EU border with 27 Member States stuck right in the heart of it!
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has written to the heads of the European institutions requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the result of last week’s EU referendum.
Ms Anderson said;
“The result of last week’s referendum will have huge implications for the future of the peace process, the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and the ongoing stability and welfare of communities across the north of Ireland.
“The people of the north of Ireland voted clearly and definitively to remain within the European Union.
“The British government does not have any mandate to represent the interests of the people of the north in regard of the European Union.
“There is now a democratic imperative to respect the vote to remain in the European Union from the north of Ireland.
“I have written to the heads of the European Institutions seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the options available to ensure the democratically expressed will of people in the north of Ireland is respected in coming negotiations.
“The north of Ireland should be enabled to maintain its membership of the European Union either in the context of a united Ireland or by special arrangement.” Ends/Críoch
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said there is an onus on the British government to recognise the vote in the devolved administrations and has reiterated calls for a border poll on Irish unity.
Speaking after the result was officially announced, Ms Anderson said,
“This referendum had nothing to do with the best interests of our people, our island or our economy.
“This was all about a narrow-minded Tory party and their internal ruptures.
“Therefore I am very proud of the 56% of the electorate who saw through this and voted in favour of remaining as a member of the EU.
“Unfortunately however, votes in England and Wales now mean the 440,707 people in the North who voted to Remain in the EU are being dragged unwillingly out of the EU.
“English votes have overturned the democratic will of the north.
“There is an onus on the British government to recognise the vote in the devolved administrations and there is an onus on them to provide answers for the several unanswered questions that the people of the north have.
“Sinn Féin will now be pushing for a border poll, a measure agreed upon in the Good Friday Agreement 18 years ago, to provide Irish citizens with the right to vote for an end to partition and to retain a role in the EU.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Israel must end its water war against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
We in Sinn Féin have always been a vocal critical of the democratic deficit in the European Union – and we still are. However, a situation where part of our country is in the EU and the other part outside would cause huge problems in terms of the economy, free movement and have serious political consequences.
In this, the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, no nationalist or republican should play any part in reinforcing the partition of our country.
We are asking you to vote ‘Remain’ in the Brexit referendum
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson today led a delegation meeting with members of Derry’s Islamic community to discuss the creation of a community hub in the city.
Speaking after meeting with representatives of the Islamic community in the north west, Ms Anderson said;
“I met today with members of the Islamic community from the north west alongside Martin McGuinness and City Centre Manager Jim Roddy, We discussed their campaign to establish a community hub in the city and identify a facility.
“The Islamic community are involved in a range of activities in the city and wider north west and are keen to continue to contribute to our diverse society.
“At today’s meeting we discussed ways to assist the group to access external funding in order to establish a community hub in the city.
“Martin McGuinness will explore options in the Assembly, I will explore opportunities at the European Parliament and our colleagues will also make enquiries at Derry and Strabane District Council.
“Derry’s Islamic community make a valued contribution to the cultural life of our city and we will continue to support that.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said leaving the European Union would be bad for the agriculture and agri-food industries.
Speaking after meeting a group of farmers in Glenmornan, Co Tyrone, Ms Anderson said;
“Clearly Brexit would have negative consequences for business, for agriculture, for the environment and for rural development across Ireland.
“One of the main sources of uncertainty following a Brexit would be around the type of trade arrangements which could be negotiated with the EU and the rest of the world.
“I have no doubt that a Brexit would leave the agri-food sector both north and south in a more difficult situation with respect to having access to export markets.
“In the north, we currently receive €326million/£236 million annually to support our farmers and this is hugely important for our agricultural industry.
“We also secured £186.5 million of EU funds towards our new Rural Development Programme.
“It simply would not make sense to put that level of support in jeopardy.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products to reduce rates of smoking.
Ms Anderson said;
“The introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and tobacco products is another welcome step towards helping protect people from the dangers of smoking.
“I played a key role in driving the Tobacco Products Directive which brought about this change through the European Parliament.
“This will mean all new tobacco packets will be dark green instead of the previous individual brand colours and will feature graphic images of the deadly impact of smoking.
“Research has shown that young people between the ages of 11 and 16 are more susceptible to tobacco advertising than any other age group and this latest restriction will remove one of the last remaining advertising methods.
“Hopefully this will lead to fewer young people taking up smoking, a habit which kills 50 per cent of tobacco users.”