Last week Unionist parties in Westminster stood with the Tories to vote in favour of the bill to trigger Article 50. In one amendment both Unionist parties voted against protecting the Good Friday Agreement in the Brexit process.
Sinn Féin candidate for East Derry, Caoimhe Archibald said:
“Both the DUP and UUP chose to vote against the express wishes of the majority in the north who voted to remain as part of the European Union, they have become cheerleaders for Brexit.
“They also stood with the Tory government to vote down Amendment 86, which would have protected the Good Friday Agreement in the Article 50 process.
“The Good Friday Agreement is the basis upon which the peace process was built and as such the agreements made need to be protected.
“The people of East Derry voted by a majority of 52% to remain in the EU. However, the DUP MP for this constituency voted against the wishes of the majority of his constituents to trigger Article 50.
“The Unionist parties are out of touch with the genuine and well-founded concerns of people here. East Derry is a large rural constituency, with farming being an important source of income. Leaving the EU puts farmers under enormous pressure with the loss of subsidies along with potentially less favourable trading arrangements.
“East Derry is home to Ulster University’s Coleraine campus; Ulster University along with Queen’s University have outlined their very grave concerns at the loss of EU funds, less favourable collaborative potential and hurdles to their ability to attract staff and students, resulting from an EU exit.
“We have also heard concerns raised from businesses, new citizens and the community and voluntary sector, on the impact of an EU exit, yet the Unionist parties choose to ignore all these.
“Sinn Féin have put forward proposals for the special case for the north to remain as part of the EU, and are lobbying EU leaders to make the case also. The democratic will of the people of the north to remain in the EU must be respected”