Belfast Telegraph

SDLP's Eastwood slams 'infantile' Sinn Fein after U-turn on border poll

By Suzanne Breen

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has branded Mary Lou McDonald's U-turn on the calling of a border poll as "another indication of the party's infantile handling of the issue".

On Monday the Sinn Fein president said she would prefer not to hold a border poll in the context of a "crash or very hard Brexit" as it would be the wrong "climate".

But less than 24 hours later she said Sinn Fein wanted a referendum "as soon as possible" and it shouldn't be delayed by the "chaos of the Tory Brexit".

Mr Eastwood expressed disappointment that Ms McDonald had abandoned her "sensible position" of delaying a border poll.He said: "It is disappointing to see Sinn Fein move away from this welcomed approach a mere 24 hours later.

"What Sinn Fein has always failed to understand is that a border poll must be based on the practical, not the pre-determined.

"Just as Scottish independence campaigners produced a 670-page document outlining the path to independent nationhood, those of us who want to build a new and agreed Ireland must do the same."

The SDLP leader added: "People from all backgrounds are warming to the idea that reunification with one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union is an idea worth hearing out.

"Those of us who want to see Irish unity should stop putting out Press releases about a border poll and start working on building the bridges that will enable us to win one when it is called."

Belfast Telegraph

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