Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has welcomed the presentation on Irish unity at the Oireachtas by Professor Colin Harvey and Mark Bassett.
The Fermanagh South Tyrone MP said:
“As the conversation on the future of our island continues, it was fitting to have Professor Colin Harvey and barrister Mark Bassett addressing the Oireachtas committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
“Prof. Colin Harvey and Mark Bassett recently published their report ‘EU and Irish Unity’, which focused on the role that the EU can play in constitutional change in Ireland.
“The EU has confirmed that a new and united Ireland would automatically attain EU membership status, which is currently denied to the North as a consequence of Brexit.
“Giving this commitment by the EU, it is crucial that they are not bystanders in the conversations but instead active advocates for democracy and the right to national self determination.
“There are some practical and common sense steps that the EU can take, including;
•Putting in place working structures to examine the impact of the process of reunification on the EU.
• Ensuring that the voices and perspectives of those living in the North of Ireland are fully involved in this process.
• Considering the scope of transitional arrangements and derogations for Ireland in the immediate aftermath of Irish unity.
• And establishing what additional assistance could be provided to facilitate Irish unity.
“Irish unification is a legitimate vision that is increasingly shared by people across this island.
“The Irish Government and EU must begin to immediately prepare for unity and to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
“Sinn Féin will continue to work in Dublin, Belfast and Europe to promote the conversation on Irish unity and garner maximum support for a new Ireland.”