Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl and Councillor Nuala McAllister have called out Sinn Féin for their blatant disregard for the consequences of Brexit, after the party made “weak excuses” not to support a debate on the People’s Vote.
Speaking after the motion was defeated at Belfast City Council’s Brexit Committee, Kate said the “bonkers” decision proved beyond doubt that Sinn Féin’s only interest in Brexit was a tool to bash the DUP with.
She added: “I proposed this motion as Alliance is consistently working to have the voices of all those who voted remain heard. Add to this all those who voted for Brexit and are now concerned with how the negotiations are going and the People’s Vote is the best way to protect Northern Ireland’s interests going forward.
“While some might want to ignore it, Brexit is going to inflict devastating wounds on Ireland’s economy, both North and South of the Border. It’s clear only Alliance is prepared to fight for everyone, and we will refuse to stand by while decisions are made based on party political lines.
“I will be urging everyone who voted against this to change their minds at the next Council meeting, as the People’s Vote campaign does not negate the existing Remain vote in Northern Ireland – despite what Sinn Féin might be trying hard to sell. That is simply not good enough and I look forward to asking Sinn Féin representatives at every opportunity to explain in full their decision today.
Nuala added: “At the September Council meeting Sinn Féin tried to stall for time by refusing to allow the motion to be debated then as originally planned, but today they have no-where to hide. They are either anti-Brexit or they don’t care enough about the effects it will have on local people – but they can’t continue to use this issue as they have now been exposed as paying lip service to those who voted remain.
“In failing to support the People’s Vote today and allowing the motion to fall they have demonstrated that they actually don’t really have any interest in how life in Northern Ireland is affected in the wake of Brexit – it’s simply a term they like to use to hit the DUP with in the on-going political stalemate at Stormont and a vehicle to drive forward their United Ireland agenda that will only serve to destabilise the efforts of others to protect Northern Ireland.”