Sinn Fein leader wants new referendum on united Ireland if there’s a hard Brexit

Leader of the Sinn Fein, the second most prominent party on the island of Ireland, has said that UK province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should renew their call for unity if Britain fails to avoid a hard border between the two neighbors after leaving the European Union.

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald told the BBC on Saturday that if a hard border is reinstated between the two Irelands as a result of a disorderly Brexit, the Republican party would seek a referendum on the Irish unity.

‘Put simply, if the border in Ireland cannot be mitigated, cannot be managed in the short term, well then you put the question democratically in the hands of the people and allow them to remove the border. ‘Bear in mind the people of Northern Ireland did not consent to Brexit. ‘The backstop is the bottom line.’

Ms McDonald said gambling with peace in Ireland was reckless and nothing should be allowed to cause disruption. She added: ‘One of the biggest symbols of success of the peace process is that people can travel unimpeded over the border.

‘Any controls or checks or security checks, any question of British soldiers at the border – the Taoiseach (head of government) has been clear there will be no Irish soldiers on the border- no one will accept the hardening of the border on our island.’

Ms McDonald also addressed why Sinn Fein MPs continued not take their seats in the House of Commons, despite repeated calls to do so during key Brexit votes. She said: ‘Westminster, correctly, advances and protects what it regards to be British interests.

‘We have no business interfering in that, I am Irish, we have two parliaments and we advance Irish interests.’

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