Paula Bradshaw calls for a second Brexit referendum
THERE have been calls for a second referendum that would enable a vote on the terms of Brexit.
Alliance South Belfast Westminster candidate Paula Bradshaw said that although Article 50 had been triggered, the British government's "seeming desire for as hard a Brexit as possible" meant the divorce deal brokered between the EU and the UK should be subject to public approval before being accepted.
She said Brexit would be the "most damaging event the UK will have seen for generations".
"The consequences will affect everyone but they will be particularly felt here in Northern Ireland, given our unique circumstances – it has already been recognised we will need a special deal to protect our status under the Good Friday Agreement," the South Belfast MLA said.
"That's why we also believe we should see another referendum on a choice between any deal the UK negotiates and the option of staying in the EU."
Ms Bradshaw said Alliance was staunchly Remain in the EU referendum but that it was not seeking to overturn democracy.
"We recognise Article 50 has been triggered, however, people's attitudes have markedly changed as the truth about Brexit and just how harsh it will be for our economy and public finances, as well provision of health services and education, becomes clear," she said.
"Avoiding a hard Brexit, supporting a second referendum on negotiations and achieving a special deal reflecting Northern Ireland's particular circumstances will help us avoid the lasting damage to our society and our public services we will otherwise see."