Category Archives: Active Citizenship
Seanad members from all parties back proposals on extending the franchise
Senators attend a press conference on a plan to extend the franchise to emigrants. Photograph: VotingRights.ie
A broad coalition of Senators has called for voting rights to be extended to Irish citizens living abroad.
Senators representing all of the political parties in the Upper House have backed a 10-point plan that would see the franchise extended to emigrants and Irish citizens living in Northern Ireland. Continue reading
Fianna Fáil Senator, Mark Daly has welcomed the commitment from the leaders of the 27 remaining EU member countries that in the event of a United Ireland, Northern Ireland will be readmitted to the Union automatically.
Senator Daly was commenting ahead of the EU Council summit this weekend where it is expected that the issue of the future of Northern Ireland, post reunification, will be discussed.
“This is good news for the 56% of the people of Northern Ireland who voted to remain in the European Union in the referendum last year. It now provides a clear pathway for those who value membership of the EU to retain it.
“This acceptance of the position as contained in the Good Friday Agreement is a welcome development from EU Leaders.
“The job of those of us who favour both a United Ireland is to convince those in the north who are unsure about such a change that it is in their best interests socially and economically.
“Last week, I published a new report, Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and It’s People in Peace and Prosperity, which outlines in detail the options for the island of Ireland in the wake of Brexit.
“The report will be on the agenda for discussion at the Joint Committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement next Thursday the 4th of May.
“The commitment from EU leaders that is expected this weekend makes it clear that there is a pathway for retaining EU membership via a United Ireland.
“This step forward is only the start. We all need to do more to bring about a United Ireland through active consent. That process starts now,” concluded Daly.
1. The Irish government must negotiate for Northern Ireland to be designated with a special status within the EU and for the whole island of Ireland to remain within the EU together.
2. All current and future EU programmes & funding for Northern Ireland, in the absence of alternative arrangements for Northern Ireland, should continue to be funded by HM Treasury.
3. The Report on the All-Ireland Economy: compiled in 2016 by Peadar Toibin TD for the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in the light of Brexit should be updated.
4. Any passport controls between Ireland and the UK should be along the same basis as for people traveling between these islands from 1939 to 1952. There should not be a return to passport controls on the borders between the North and South of Ireland.
5. A detailed analysis of the impact of Brexit on Women, programmes to mitigate these impacts should be implemented
6. Research into the actual income and expenditure for Northern Ireland should be carried out by the Government.
7. The Irish Government must approach Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to declare that Irish reunification would be supported by the EU in the event of the people of the Island of Ireland voting for it as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement. This declaration would be similar to that of Commission President Jacque Delors in January 1990 on the issue of German Unification ‘East Germany is a special case’.
8. To avoid any uncertainties in the Irish case, it would be suitable to insist in the course of the Brexit negotiations on an additional protocol expressly stating that in case of an Irish Reunification Reunified Ireland will be considered the same state as Ireland (state continuity) and that the EU Treaties will be without any further amendment be applicable to the whole territory of the reunified country.
9. Include in the final Agreement between the EU and the UK recognition of the special status of the people of Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland’s economic relationship with the South. The precedent for both was set by the European Community, when it recognised the special status of the citizens of East Germany and made special provision for trade between the 2 Germanys.
10. Recognition by the EU in the final treaty between the EU and the UK that the reunification of Ireland would be implicit by Art.79 of the ECSC Treaty, Art. 227(1) of the EEC Treaty and Art.198 of the EURATOM Treaty leaving acquisition of territory, and consequently all steps leading to it, with in the domain reserve of the member states.
11. Commission a report based on a hard brexit with a hard border on a World Trade Organisation tariff arrangement between Ireland, the EU and Britain and Northern Ireland.
12. Commission a report should be commissioned by the Government on the impact of unification.
13. The current full Northern Ireland deficit should continue to be paid by HM Treasury for a period of 30 years after a vote for unification.
14. The establishment of a New Ireland Forum 2 is recommended to set a pathway toachieve the peaceful reunification of Ireland.
15. Establish an international task force with experts in counter terrorism so that the insights of Michael Ortiz, White House, National Security Council, Senior Policy advisor on counter terrorism in Presidents Obama administration could be examined, a plan devised and implemented.
16. That Northern Ireland is included in the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice to resolve disputes arising from the Good Friday Agreement.
17. Lessons from the failed referendums in Quebec and Scotland need to be learned to ensure that the Irish government fulfils its constitutional obligations of achieving its main aim of the peaceful reunification of Ireland.
18. The Government needs to carry out an audit in relation to the legal and constitutional changes pre and post-unification.