John Finucane: The North Belfast electorate were loud and clear: they've voted for a progressive future
A new MP’s view
I was honoured to join the team after last Thursday's historic election in North Belfast when the people chose me to be their MP.
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In doing so they voted to reject Brexit and for a better future.
The electorate made their voice heard loud and clear.
They sent a clear message that they did not want to be represented by the DUP's arch-Brexiteer, Nigel Dodds, who had been MP in the constituency for almost two decades.
Instead they voted for a progressive and inclusive future.
As active abstentionists, Sinn Fein MPs do not sit on the green benches of Westminster but instead provide first-class representation here in Ireland and make the voice of our constituents heard where it matters in Dublin, Brussels, London and Washington.
I will sit, together with my fellow Sinn Fein MPs, as well as TDs and Seanadoiri from other parties on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Committee in the Oireachtas.
The decision by the people of North Belfast to elect me as their MP was a profound rejection of Brexit and was also an example of how much our city and our communities have changed.
We are a youthful, diverse and outward-looking part of the world.
We are inclusive of other faiths and cultures.
We reject sectarianism, and we embrace progressive values.
As such, we are no longer a constituency that can be misrepresented by the DUP.
I was elected by a diverse and cross-community group of citizens in North Belfast eager for change and I will work every day to bring about that change.
I now join a dynamic team of Sinn Fein MPs and party colleagues determined to continue our work protecting our all-island economy, our peace agreement, the Good Friday Agreement, from Brexit and preventing any hardening of the border.
This is my task as the new MP for North Belfast, of giving hope and of campaigning for the north to rejoin the European Union.
I will waste no time in delivering on the positivity and promise of real change in North Belfast, and of working for the betterment of all in this fantastic constituency.