Watch as Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson quotes James Connolly when she says 'British government has no right in Ireland'

Sinn Fein M.E.P., Martina Anderson, quoted Irish republican James Connolly in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning when she said "the British government has no right in Ireland".

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:28 pm
Sinn Fein M.E.P., Martina Anderson, speaking in the European Parliament, Strasbourg on Wednesday morning. (Photo/Video: European Parliament)

Ms. Anderson, who is originally from the Bogside in Derry, was speaking during a debate on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

"James Connolly's words grow in significance day-by-day," said Ms. Anderson addressing her fellow M.E.P.s.

"He said 'the British government has no right in Ireland; never had any right in Ireland and never can have any right in Ireland'."

Sinn Fein M.E.P., Martina Anderson, speaking in the European Parliament, Strasbourg on Wednesday morning. (Photo/Video: European Parliament)

Ms. Anderson was speaking the morning after British Prime Minister, Theresa May and her government suffered the largest defeat by a sitting government in history.

Mrs. May's deal was rejected by a margin of 230 M.P.s.

"Daily the British government shows contempt for the people of Ireland and a complete disregard for the Good Friday Agreement," said the Sinn Fein M.E.P.

"The part of the British establishment that the D.U.P. supports has always been opposed to the Good Friday Agreement and some see Brexit as a way to get rid of it.

"No positive resolution for Ireland will ever come from a British parliament - it never has and it never will," added Ms. Anderson.

Ms. Anderson went on to say that a provision exists within the Good Friday Agreement that could result in a border poll on Irish reunification.

"In contrast to the frustrating and infuriating circus at Westminster, the E.U. is committed to supporting the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts.

"One vital aspect of the Good Friday Agreement presents a route out of this mess for Ireland and it is, Mr. [Guy] Verhofstadt (representative of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations) both legitimate and democratic.

"It states that once the British secretary of state considers that there has been demonstrabable and attitudal change she will trigger a border poll on Irish unity.

"There has been demonstrable change. Theresa May knows that and she stated so publicly, as does Karen Bradley.

"The Irish government needs to take more account of what the European Council's statement of April 2017 stated: 'in the event of a successful democratic vote on Irish unity, the North of Ireland would remain part of the E.U. - that was referred to as the German clause."

Ms. Anderson added: "In the meantime Ireland needs a contingency plan to uphold the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts.

"Supporting and preparing for the holding of a referendum on Irish unity has to be part of that.

"So let's de-dramatise that part of the conversation - we are entitled to the right to decide our future without external intereference.

"That's a Good Friday Agreement provision so let's have our say on what union we want to be part of."