16 June 2018
Irish unity offers solution to Brexit problems - Professor tells Ard Fheis
"It is a simple basic fact that the north has a constitutional and internationally guaranteed right to turn the page and launch a fresh start in a new and different Ireland within the EU but beyond the UK." - Professor Colin Harvey
A leading human rights professor has said that special status for the north within the EU is required to protect people's rights and that Irish unity offers the best solution to the problems of Brexit.
Colin Harvey, a professor in human rights at the School of Law at Queen's University, Belfast, made the comment while addressing a fringe event organised by Martina Anderson MEP at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Belfast on Saturday.
Professor Harvey spoke at the event alongside John Sheridan from Border Communities Against Brexit, Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard and Martina Anderson MEP.
Addressing the packed event, Professor Harvey said the blame for the Brexit mess rests with the Tories.
"I have no doubt that this is a crisis that has been manufactured by the conservative party in London. I can't see any way out of this without a special arrangement for the north," he said.
The Derry-born professor also said that the battle for Brexit will take place in Ireland and in Brussels.
"The immediate question we face is ensuring we have determined action on this island and in Brussels in the negotiations in June and in September and October," he said.
He also said Irish unity offers the best solution to the problem of Brexit.
"It is a simple basic fact that the north has a constitutional and internationally guaranteed right to turn the page and launch a fresh start in a new and different Ireland within the EU but beyond the UK.
We should not be afraid to have that conversation about how we are going to share this island in the years and decades to come," he said.
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