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Gerry Adams: After Brexit, a united Ireland is the democratic way forward

Published 13/07/2016

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams calls for united Irish island
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams calls for united Irish island

Gerry Adams has repeated calls for a border poll following the vote to leave the EU and has called on America's leaders to help "safeguard the political progress" in Northern Ireland.

In an article for the New York Times, he said that the solution to any possible blocks on trade, services and free movement and the loss of funding for peace programs would be for a referendum about a united Ireland.

He said: "The Brexit vote provides both a reason and an opportunity to enable this democratic decision. The British government should respect the popular vote in the North for European Union membership by bringing forward a referendum on Irish unity. The Irish government, too, should act on this.

"The people of the North could then choose whether they wanted to be part of a Britain outside the European Union or belong to a unified Irish state in Europe. For the Irish after Brexit, that is the democratic way forward."

Although the UK voted to leave the EU, Northern Ireland voted to remain.

As the results were announced, Sinn Fein called for a border poll as they said "the north is going to be dragged out on the tails of a vote in England".

Adams added that the "achievement and legacy" of the Good Friday Agreement has been put "at risk" by Brexit.

He said: "By its reckless action, the British government has set aside the democratic consent that was central to the Good Friday Agreement and set a course that would fundamentally alter the relationships between the North and South of Ireland, and between Ireland and Britain."

He has called on America's leaders to act to "safeguard the political progress" in Northern Ireland.

He said: "Successive presidents of the United States, with the support of Irish-Americans, have played a central role in promoting political progress in the North of Ireland.

"Given its investment in the peace process, America’s leaders must act to safeguard it, insisting that the British government honor its obligations under the agreements and give effect to the North’s choice to remain."

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