Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

9 July 1998 Edition

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Back issue: Time To Go charter launched

An array of well-known entertainers, including Robbie Coltrane, Julie Christie, Emma Thompson, and Pete Townsend, have put their names to a charter for British withdrawal from Ireland launched last Thursday.

The charter, titled Time to Go, states: ``We must recognise that there will never be peace while Britian remains in Ireland. This is our starting point. Let's develop the debate about how British withdrawal is to be accomplished''.

The 100 strong list of signatories includes academics, lawyers, artists and politicians, among them historian AJP Taylor, journalist John Pilger and poet Benjamin Zephaniah. For many years opinion polls have shown that a majority of British people favour withdrawal from Ireland, and the list reflects a growing willingness among people in the public eye to ``stand up and be counted''.

The charter is being launched as part of a series of events leading up to the twentieth anniversary of British troops going onto the streets of Derry and Belfast in August 1969.

The campaign is being headed by Birmingham Labour MP Clare Short, who told a packed press conference, ``Every time a child is killed with a plastic bullet it's done in our name. We have to face up to Britain's responsibility in Ireland''. Clare Short, whose family originates in Crossmaglen, is a member of the British Labour Party's `front bench' with a job as a spokesperson on employment.

Maria Fyfe, Labour MP for Glasgow Maryhill, said, ``We have to get back to the basic point that Britain never had any right to be in Ireland and it has to get out''.

Other MPs sponsoring the charter include Simon Hughes of the Social and Liberal Democrats, Dafydd Wigley and Dafydd Elis Thomas of Plaid Cymru, and Labour MPs Tony Benn, Bernie Grant and Ken Livingstone.

An Phoblacht 10 July 1988

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