Sinn Féin’s Derry branch is to nominate sitting MEP, Martina Anderson, to represent the North of Ireland in the European elections, despite uncertainty over whether the UK will take part.
The sitting MEP is expected to be proposed after Sinn Féin confirmed that it plans to field a candidate regardless .
Tory Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly said she does not want the UK to take part in the elections, given that Brexit was due to have already happened. However, it is looking increasingly likely that if the EU is to grant another extension to the UK, it will be conditional on participation in the late May vote.
Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, has announced that her party will hold a convention in Belfast next week to select a candidate. Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s local election campaign in Dublin on Sunday she said: “From the outset of the Brexit process, Sinn Féin has been clear and consistent that Irish citizens in the north, who are also EU citizens, should have elected representation in the EU Parliament regardless of whether Britain exits the EU or not, as is their right.
“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil rejected giving the people of the north a voice in Europe. The chaos has continued in London and, less than a week away from the next Brexit deadline, it is clear the British Government and parliament continues to have no plan, no strategy and no clue.”
She said the request to contest EU elections in the north was made by the Six-County Cúige. Nominations open next Monday and close on Friday.