Jeremy Corbyn STILL backs a united Ireland amid storm over his first visit to Belfast as Labour leader
- Corbyn has not changed his view on uniting the island of Ireland, it has emerged
- A spokesman for the Labour leader said he believed there was majority support
- But Corbyn also back the constitutional process in the Good Friday Agreement
Jeremy Corbyn still backs a united Ireland and believes the idea is backed across the island on the eve of his first visit to Belfast as Labour leader.
A spokesman for the Labour leader insisted he also endorses the mechanism in the Good Friday Agreement for triggering a referendum on breaking up the UK.
The Labour leader is due in Belfast tomorrow to talk to parties on both sides of the community divide about Brexit and powersharing.
The trip has been widely criticised by unionists because of Mr Corbyn’s long-held Republican sympathies.
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today in the Commons) still backs a united Ireland and believes the idea is backed across the island on the eve of his first visit to Belfast as Labour leader
A spokesman for the Labour leader (pictured at PMQs) insisted he also endorses the mechanism in the Good Friday Agreement for triggering a referendum on breaking up the UK
Ahead of his talks, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: ‘He over the years made his position clear that the majority of of those people across the island of Ireland wanted to see a united Ireland, but in the context of the Good Friday Agreement that can only come about through the constitutional process.’
A referendum on unification requires a majority in both the Republic and Northern Ireland, not just across the entire Island of Ireland.
It could only be triggered by the Northern Ireland Secretary in London – and only then if there is widespread support for the poll, likely to be demonstrated by a resolution of the Northern Ireland Executive.
But believing in majority support for unification will suggest to critics Mr Corbyn might push for a referendum were he to become Prime Minister.
Mr Corbyn is due to speak at to speak at Queen’s University in Belfast, where the IRA gunned down 29-year-old law lecturer Edgar Graham in 1983.
He has been challenged by the DUP to use the visit to condemn Irish Republicans – the political wing of which he was a rare supporter of in Westminster during the Troubles.
On Sunday, Conservative Party deputy chairman James Cleverly said he believed Mr Corbyn’s planned Queen’s University visit showed a ‘deep lack of respect’.
‘It’s deeply concerning that Jeremy Corbyn is considering showing up where Edgar Graham was killed by the IRA,’ the Conservative MP told the Mail on Sunday.
‘It shows a callousness and deep lack of respect.
‘Corbyn gave cover to the IRA while they were bombing and shooting our citizens.’
In 1984, a decade before the first IRA ceasefire, he met with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in London and, a year later, he opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement saying it strengthened rather than weakened the border
Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, a united Ireland can only be brought about with the majority consent of people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
In 1984, a decade before the first IRA ceasefire, he met with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in London and, a year later, he opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement saying it strengthened rather than weakened the border.
Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said that during his visit he would seek to ‘engage with all communities and people across Northern Ireland’ on both the peace process and Brexit, as well as ‘the need for a transformation of the economy in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the UK in a way that works for all communities’.
Source: Read Full Article