What the parties have said on a united Ireland

The DUP has said a border poll would have a destabilising effect. Pictured is party leader Arlene Foster. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
Gareth McKeown


"During the election campaign we highlighted the destabilising effect such a poll would have and we would hope that all parties will commit to placing their focus on getting the Assembly back, getting it working and delivering for the people of Northern Ireland. We do not support such a poll being called. Our focus is on working for the people of Northern Ireland."


"At the heart of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process is the issue of political consent.

Following the ‘Brexit’ referendum result putting the British state on course to leave the EU, however, the democratic wish of a majority of people in the North of Ireland is being disregarded by the British Government.

Sinn Féin believes that a new and united Ireland will deliver full democracy to the people of the whole island, including the right of people in the North to remain within the EU.

We believe Ireland would be better served by a single economy rather than two competing economies and that Irish people are disadvantaged by the duplication and disjointed nature of services North and South.

It is for the people of Ireland, North and South, to decide the political future of the island. The Good Friday Agreement, negotiated in 1998, provides for a referendum on Irish reuni cation and Sinn Féin is campaigning for a Unity Poll to be held.

It is vital is that an open, inclusive and fully- informed discussion on the future of Ireland and involving everyone -begins now. "


The SDLP continues to believe that a United Ireland is the biggest and the boldest vision for the future of this island.

The challenge for nationalism now is to put in the hard yards to make unity a demographic of belief, not of birth. Scottish independence campaigners produced a 670 page plan outlining the path to independent nationhood and how it would operate. We must begin that journey in earnest.


"The Ulster Unionist Party is confident that the Union is secure. Whilst we do not fear a border poll, we do not believe one is necessary either.

A border poll would be a distraction from more pressing issues, not least the restoration of devolution and how Northern Ireland will be affected by the Brexit negotiations.

The Ulster Unionist Party remains convinced that a significant majority of people in Northern Ireland share our belief that the Union with Great Britain has provided - and continues to provide - overwhelmingly positive benefits for Northern Ireland and its people in political, economic and social terms. We see no reason why we should leave the sixth largest economy on the planet, or break our long-standing ties of kinship with Great Britain."


Green Party leader Stephen Agnew and Clare Bailey. The party has said it is not the right time for a border poll. Picture byMal McCann

“It’s not the right time to consider a border poll. The focus should be on getting the institutions up and running, agreeing a budget and delivering good government.

There are hundreds of local people who have been on protective notice since December and whose jobs are under threat because of the lack of a budget.

All MLAs need to focus on providing stable government and delivering for those who have just elected us."


"We do not think there is any need for a border poll and are opposed to the calling of one."


"People Before Profit stand for a 32 county socialist Ireland. We are for the right of the people of the North, and Ireland as a whole, to hold referenda on whether or not the border should remain. This is simply a matter of basic democracy. If the people of Britain had a right to vote on membership of the EU, then by the same logic people in Scotland and the North have an equal right to determine where their future lies.

As James Connolly, predicted more than 100 years ago - the partition of Ireland led to a carnival of reaction whereby right wing politicians clothed themselves in orange and green flags to attack their own working class. Breaking that border and uniting workers on a class basis is key to advancing in Ireland. Discussions on partition and Irish unity can never therefore be dismissed as 'divisive'– no more than discussion on abortion or racism can be dismissed as divisive."


Independent Claire Sugden said calls for a border poll were "premature"

"I'm a unionist and feel calls for a border poll are probably premature. I wouldn't think even those who would be keen for that to happen would necessarily want that at this stage. I certainly do not feel unionism at this stage would have anything to fear in the short term, but certainly those who would aspire for a united Ireland are making the case for that. I think at this stage it would be premature."

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