SDLP and Fianna Fáil call for all island pro remain alliance

Colum Eastwood of the SDLP and Micheal Martin of Fianna Fáil have issued a join statement calling for a pro remain alliance. Picture Mal McCann.

The SDLP and Fianna Fáil have issued a joint statement urging pro-remain parties across the island of Ireland to form an alliance to tackle the negative consequences of Brexit.

The statement, issued by party leaders Colum Eastwood Micheál Martin, sets out five core principles they want pro remain parties to agree on in relation to Brexit.

It is one of the first statements sent from the two parties since they announced last month they were forming a partnership and urges - without naming Sinn Féin - those with seats at Westminster to use them in key votes.

Ian Knox cartoon 22/2/19: The “Three Amigos” join the “Magnificent Seven” in disagreement with their respective party leaders. The “Terrible Two” have yet to move 

Sinn Féin have repeatedly stated they will not change their abstentionist policy in relation to Westminster.

"It is just 36 days until Brexit and with each passing day the UK edges ever closer to crashing out of the European Union without a deal," the statement reads.

"The arithmetic in Westminster no longer allows us to leave anything to chance.

"Brexit can only be stopped by actions, not words or placards. Extraordinary times call for more than ordinary measures.

"Together, pro-remain parties must agree and act upon a set of principles that ensure the protection of people across this island, from Derry to Cork.

"Together, the SDLP and Fianna Fail agree that all pro-remain parties must recognise and invoke five core principles necessary to stave off the worst outcomes of Brexit.

The two also said that all parties "must stand firm on the backstop" adding it was not enough to oppose a no-deal Brexit "it must be voted down".

"All pro-remain parties have a duty, whether it be in the Assembly, the Dail or in Westminster to make every vote count".

"We must recognise that both unionists and nationalists voted to remain", the statement reads.

"And of course, the impacts of Brexit will adversely impact everyone regardless of political affiliation. Therefore, pro-remain parties must commit to reassuring unionists that constitutional change can only come about through the mechanisms outlined in the Good Friday Agreement".

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