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Former Irish Prime Minister Slams "Reckless" Sinn Fein Demand For Border Vote
3 August 2019, 15:17
Former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton tells LBC the demand from Sinn Fein for a fresh vote on the Irish border if there is a no-deal Brexit and hard border is "toxic" and "highly reckless".
Speaking to Matt Frei, the former Taoiseach said that combining 'disorderly Brexit' and a border poll would be "highly reckless", and the Sinn Fein leader was "very unwise" to advocate such a 'course of action'.
John Bruton said: "I think the important thing to recognise is that if there's going to be a no-deal Brexit, part of the preparation for that is going to be the legislation to reintroduce direct rule in Northern Ireland - which would be very disruptive.
"I would like to hope that the Prime Minister will come to Dublin and discuss in a constructive fashion the Good Friday Agreement.
"We hear a lot about recognising the vote in 2016, but we had a referendum in Ireland on the Belfast Agreement and the truth of the matter is that Brexit as it is now being pursued is throwing that back in our face."
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald described the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland as "enormous" and has repeatedly called for a border poll.
Speaking at an event in Belfast, she said she will remind Prime Minister Boris Johnson "not only of the need to respect the wishes of the majority to remain within the EU".
"We will also remind him of his obligations under the Good Friday and subsequent agreements including the provision for a unity referendum."