Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson was today (Saturday) selected by her party as the candidate for the north in the European Parliament elections in May.
The UK government is now expected to be forced to conceded that Scotland, Wales, England and the north of Ireland will have to take part in the elections after plans to have triggered Brexit were twice delayed last month and again last week.
With no agreement among MPs on the way forward in sight, European leaders have agreed to an extension up until Hallowe’en, although the UK can still leave early if the thrice-defeated Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before that time.
Speaking following her selection in Belfast on Saturday, Martina Anderson said the upcoming European Parliament election will provide an opportunity to send a message that the people of the north will never again be left behind.
“I am honoured to have been selected to stand as the Sinn Féin candidate in the upcoming European Parliament election in the north,” she said.
“We are facing into an election the British government didn’t want to happen. The DUP didn’t want EU elections either. Their Brexit involves stripping people of their rights including the right to vote.
Not only do they refuse rights that everyone else in Britain and Ireland enjoy, they also want to remove EU rights too.”
The Derry politician added: “Brexit will be a disaster for Ireland north and south, deal or no deal. We have continually fought against Brexit and made sure the voice of the people of the north has been heard and the interests of the people of Ireland have taken centre stage.
“We have stood up for all our citizens from right across the community in full confidence challenging and confronting all that is wrong with the EU and supporting and advancing all that is right for Ireland.
“The Withdrawal Agreement and the Backstop we have today is not perfect but it is contains the bare minimum protections that we require. But without our work there would be no backstop.
“This election offers an opportunity to send a message to Brussels, London and Dublin that we will not be left behind again.”