15/11/2018

Pro-Remain Parties Share Positive Brexit Outlook After Dublin Meeting

Representatives from Northern Ireland's pro-remain political parties have said the highly controversial draft Brexit agreement is an opportunity for optimism.

Members of the SDLP, Sinn Fein, Alliance and the Northern Ireland Green Party met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney on Thursday 15 November in Dublin.

Reflecting after the meeting, Sinn Fein's leader for NI Michelle O'Neill said: "We have had a very positive meeting, where we were able to seek some assurances over what has been achieved in the agreement so far.

"We set out as four pro-remain parties with a common objective, in the first instance we speak for a majority in Northern Ireland, and we're conscious that the DUP do not speak for the majority in the north."

In a statement, Mrs O'Neill added that the parties have "worked together to protect the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts, to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland and to protect our economy, all-Ireland trade and jobs and the future of our children".
News Image
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has highlighted the security of the backstop as a main priority, and called on those in Westminster to consider Northern Ireland's position in Brexit negotiations.

"I know you have your own constituencies but we have a responsibility, and I think everyone has a responsibility to avoid a hard border, this does that," he urged MPs.

"We cannot risk the peace and progress we have made."

Stephen Farry, deputy leader of the Alliance party called for cool heads as negotiations continue and criticised those creating hysteria around the Northern Ireland element of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

"Disappointed that @UKLabour are dramatising the backstop in the same way as the DUP," he said in a Tweet.

"This is unnecessary and unhelpful to resolving Brexit."

The pro-remain group also appealed to the Democratic Unionists to join them at the discussion table to protect Northern Ireland's future.

"This deal has the potential for us to have the best of both worlds, to be a bridge to the market in Ireland and Great Britain, a source of potential investment," Mr Farry added.

"We’re very open to unionism engaging in this process, we have a common interest in protecting Northern Ireland.

"Our message is that unionism should come and join us at the table and let us have a collective effort to stand up together."



(JG/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
20 February 2007
Northern Ireland goes to Washington
Washington DC is to experience Northern Ireland’s arts and culture during a four month programme to promote arts, business, education, food and tourism.

 Around 250 local people will be in Washington taking part in the Rediscover Northern Ireland programme and the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival.
29 May 2012
Access To Republic Of Ireland Digital TV Channels Confirmed For Northern Ireland
TV viewers in Northern Ireland will be able to watch TG4 and RTÉ One and Two on Freeview following digital TV switchover, the UK Government confirmed today.
16 February 2006
Hain announces Northern Ireland Bill
Secretary of State, Peter Hain, has today introduced new legislation to the House of Commons to help pave the way for future devolution of policing and justice in Northern Ireland.
30 November 2018
Karen Bradley: Brexit Deal Will Protect NI Jobs
The Secretary of State Karen Bradley has promoted the merits of the Brexit withdrawal agreement while touring Northern Ireland towns. Addressing business representatives in County Down, the Conservative MP said the region will be in an "unrivalled" global position to attract future foreign investment, and the region could see an economic boom.
11 April 2013
NI Must Seek 'Shared Future'
NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has said money intended for investment in Northern Ireland could be withheld if progress is not made on working towards a shared future. A package aimed at helping business in Northern Ireland could be under threat, Ms Villiers said.
19 May 2004
Murphy to meet parties ahead of marching season
Secretary of State Paul Murphy has confirmed he is to meet with Northern Ireland's main political parties ahead of this summer's marching season. Mr Murphy said he wanted to maintain the momentum created during last year's mainly peaceful summer. "Last year was the most peaceful summer that many of us can remember," Mr Murphy said.
29 April 2004
Commission proposals aim to improve voting procedures
The Electoral Commission today outlined 40 recommendations aimed at improving the general administration of elections in Northern Ireland. The Commission's official statutory report on the administration of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections follows last November's Assembly elections.
22 September 2006
NI tourist board target golfers
To coincide with the Ryder Cup at the K Club in County Kildare, Tourism Minister, Maria Eagle, has launched a new ‘Golf Northern Ireland’ brochure in a bid to entice participants to visit some of Northern Ireland's top golf courses.
14 June 2005
Sports Minister highlights need for venue safety
Sports Minister David Hanson has visited Ravenhill today to raise awareness of a consultation process on proposed legislation governing safety in sports grounds.
05 March 2010
HBO Fantasy Epic For Northern Ireland
Fantasy filmmaking is on the way to Belfast. Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Culture and Arts Minister, Nelson McCausland have confirmed, that the series, Game of Thrones will be filmed in Northern Ireland.
22 March 2007
Northern Ireland rocks Washington
Leading performers from Northern Ireland will dazzle Washington DC this week as the Rediscover Northern Ireland programme gets underway. Northern Ireland rock band Snow Patrol will play to thousands of Americans at the Bender Arena whilst Belfast born pianist Barry Douglas will perform with his orchestra Camerata Ireland at the Library of Congress.
20 January 2014
Govts Could 'Intervene' On Haass
Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore has said the Irish and British governments will intervene if political parties in Northern Ireland fail to reach an agreement on the way forward for flags, parades and the past. The Foreign Minister and Tánaiste was speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme.
19 April 2012
It's Time To Put NI On Global Tourism Map
2012 is Northern Ireland’s time to shine and emerge as an international must-see tourism destination, according to Howard Hastings, chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).
29 October 2003
Return of Stormont will see tax rises, claim DUP
The DUP have warned voters of a triple tax threat if people vote for pro-agreement parties at next month's assembly elections. At a press conference held at DUP Headquarters in Belfast, the party pointed out how some taxpayers are set for a triple whammy of tax increases which could see their rates double over the next five years.