We believe that all the rights, protections, and inclusion that nationalists have sought within Northern Ireland while it is in the United Kingdom must equally be guaranteed to unionists within a United Ireland.
Our vision of a United Ireland is based on equality. Unity must not be about the entrapment of a new minority. In a United Ireland we will still need to find a way of sharing our society as equals every bit as much as we do today - and that is what the Good Friday Agreement is all about. The best context for holding and winning a referendum is when it is clear that the Agreement is fully bedded down and that all its protections will continue regardless of the referendum's outcome. A majority is most likely to vote for a United Ireland when reassured that it is neither a vote against the Agreement nor a vote for constitutional uncertainty.
Achieving a majority for Irish unity any time soon will require the persuasion of some unionists. It will also require the reassurance of many others. Because we have always stood for peace and partnership, only the SDLP can persuade a majority in the North in favour of unity - just as we persuaded a majority of the North in favour of the Good Friday Agreement.
That is why only the SDLP can deliver a United Ireland.