Elisha McCallion: ‘We’ve made history already. Now let’s build the future’

Sinn Fein's Elisha McCallion says voters can help create a new future by voting for her this Thursday.
Sinn Fein's Elisha McCallion says voters can help create a new future by voting for her this Thursday.

ELISHA McCALLION, Sinn Fein Foyle candidate in the Westminster election, says voters can help create a new future by voting for her in Thursday’s poll

Just three months ago, the people of Foyle took a powerful stand when they overwhelmingly endorsed Sinn Féin in the Assembly election.

Elisha McCallion says Irish unity is now firmly on the agenda.

Elisha McCallion says Irish unity is now firmly on the agenda.

The people of this city and right across the North stood with Martin McGuinness in that election.

They supported his decision to call time on the arrogance, disrespect and serious allegations of DUP corruption.

Your vote helped ensure there would be no return to the status quo.

But it did much more than that. It fundamentally changed the political landscape.

The so-called permanent unionist majority gerrymandered at the time of partition was swept aside, opening up new possibilities for progressive politics in the time ahead.

It was a genuinely historic and ground-breaking election.

Irish unity is now firmly on the agenda and rights and equality have been put centre-stage of the political process. Those are huge achievements. Your vote made a difference and we must defend those achievements in the Westminster election on Thursday.

We have to continue building the momentum for change because the DUP and the British Government want to reverse it.

They want to ignore the stand you took three months ago just as they are ignoring the result of the EU referendum. Almost 80 percent of the people in Foyle voted to remain in Europe but Theresa May and Arlene Foster are determined to drag us out of the EU against our will.

They can’t be allowed to succeed because Brexit will be a disaster for our economy.

It will be a disaster for local business, for farmers and the wider agri-food industry, for the health service, for workers’ rights and border communities.

Staying in the EU - a changed EU - is vital to our future prosperity. Sinn Féin is the only party to put forward a credible alternative to Brexit. An alternative which gives effect to your vote to remain.

We proposed that the North secures designated special status within the EU. It is a credible, realisable plan but the case for it will not be won at Westminster. What makes anyone think the Tories will listen to a handful of MPs from the North when they are already ignoring the majority of the population?

The best way, the strongest way to show Theresa May and Arlene Foster that Derry is still opposed to Brexit, that Derry is still opposed to Tory cuts and DUP arrogance, is to continue to stand with Sinn Féin.

An enhanced Sinn Féin mandate on Thursday will strengthen our hand in the negotiations to restore the power-sharing institutions on the basis set out by Martin McGuinness.

It will strengthen our hand as we fight the battle against Brexit where it matters - across Ireland and throughout Europe.

We are in a new political era. No one can doubt major change is coming to these islands. We need to ensure it is the right change and Sinn Féin is the party to do that. We are already the largest political party on this island with representation in Belfast, Dublin, London and Brussels and across Ireland’s 32 counties.

We are the only party which can seize the opportunities for real change which are now within our grasp.

The opportunity to unite our people and unite our island. The opportunity to build a new agreed united Ireland with rights and equality for all.

Your vote will help us to do that.

What Sinn Féin wants in this election is a win for everyone who wants new progressive politics which is modern and inclusive.

We will continue to build bridges through dialogue and reconciliation between all our people.

That is the future which Sinn Féin is asking the people to endorse on June 8. It is a progressive vision. A prosperous future within an agreed Ireland.

This election is an opportunity to stand against borders. Against Brexit and against cuts. It is your opportunity to stand for equality, for rights and for unity.

You created history three months ago. On Thursday you can help create a new future.