Responding to comments made by Northern Ireland Minister Steve Baker MP at the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly today, SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has warned the British Government that the principle of consent underpins the Good Friday Agreement and is not up for debate.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“The Principle of Consent is the bedrock on which the Good Friday Agreement is built. It provides the basis for parity of esteem for nationalists, unionists and all those who have a stake in our constitutional future.
“Steve Baker is right to acknowledge the significant deficiencies in the public debate that preceded the Brexit referendum. Lies went unchallenged, serious concerns about the impact on our island were ignored, people were fundamentally misled about what leaving the European Union meant. There are huge lessons for those of us who support constitutional change and a future referendum on unity.
“But fundamentally, there will be no super majority requirement for change because unionist votes cannot be worth more than anyone else’s. If a simple majority is the requirement to remain in the UK then a simple majority is what will be needed to unite our island. There’ll be no changing the goalposts now.”