Video: Martina Anderson compares Brexit to Derry gerrymander and cries 'Tiocfaidh an lá sin' saying northern MEPs will sit in Brussels again
Derry MEP Martin Anderson compared Brexit to gerrymandering in Derry in the European Parliament this evening but predicted Irish MEPs from the North will be back in Brussels in future declaring Tiocfaidh an lá sin: that day will come!
The Sinn Féin representative claimed the people of Derry were being disenfranchised now by Brexit as they were by the unionist gerrymanders of the past.
"On Friday at 11 p.m. this Irish MEP will be kicked out of this Parliament against the democratic wishes of the people of Ireland who voted to remain and want to stay in the EU after 47 years of membership and after 50 years of fighting against gerrymandering in places like Derry.
"The British Government is once again kicking our voting rights away, taking them away from us and once again changing the constitutional position of the people of Ireland without our consent.
"Today I am voting in favour of this Irish protocol because Sinn Féin will not consent to the hardening of the British border partitioning Ireland. We will not consent to custom posts. We will not consent to barbed wire.
"There is no doubt that the Irish protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement is an ugly compromise but it is better than a crash-out Brexit.
"Partition and Brexit are ugly impositions that have burdened ireland for years. Because of Partition Brexit is stripping away our democratic and social rights."
Ms. Anderson, however, said Brexit had paradoxically given the campaign for Irish reunification a renewed momentum.
She said "a dynamic conversation about Irish unity had been invigorated" and noted that the European Council had unanimously agreed on April 29, 2017 that if Ireland was reunified the whole of Ireland would be considered apart of the EU.
"The Partition of Ireland is not only a problem for us in Ireland. The 300 mile border with 320 border crossings is now your problem too," she told MEPs
"When Britain gets its empire back, showing it cares nothing about your level playing field, and when shady, low standard products with minimum protection make their way into your market, you will not be long in joining the sensible people in supporting Irish unity.
"There is no doubt that a day will come when Irish MEPs from the North will be back in the European Parliament. Mark my words: Tiocfaidh an lá sin - hat day will come."