Alliance Leader Naomi Long will stand for the party in the East Belfast constituency in the General Election, it has been confirmed.
Mrs Long was selected by party members to contest the seat, which she held from 2010 – 2015. She said Alliance would be running on a platform of ending the Brexit chaos and protecting Northern Ireland from any catastrophic no deal.
“Brexit hasn’t happened yet but already it has brought increased division in our politics and more instability to our community. Locally, it is a major reason the Assembly has not returned and it presents a serious challenge to the Good Friday Agreement, as well as our economy and vision for a more shared and prosperous future.
“This election will choose the Parliament which ultimately determines our future relationship with Europe. Following Alliance’s successes in May’s elections, we are uniquely placed as the largest, most inclusive pro-Remain party that will go to Parliament and fight against the Brexit shambles which we have been subjected to over the past three years.
“I have used my role as MEP to ensure we avoided a catastrophic no deal by working to secure the extensions required, illustrating its utter folly to those in positions of responsibility in the EU, articulating its consequences for these islands and the EU of the kind of Brexit pursued by the Conservative Government and their partners in the DUP.
“As someone who held the position of East Belfast MP previously and who has lived here all my life, I know the constituency well and know the devastating impact Brexit has already had not only on major employers and small businesses, but also on the levels of fear and uncertainty right across our community. I know the devastating impact it will continue to have both here and wider across Northern Ireland.
“That’s why I am standing in the General Election, to give a voice in Parliament to those who realise while a deal may be better than no deal, our best future – one which avoids barriers anywhere in these islands – is not delivered by Brexit but by remaining in the heart of the EU, playing a full and constructive role in shaping its future and ours in cooperation with our nearest neighbours and partners.”