Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn backs referendum on a united Ireland
In favour of it, if it's wanted by the Assembly...
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed a referendum on a united Ireland if the Northern Ireland Assembly wishes to have one.
Speaking to BBC's Andrew Neill, he was asked specifically about the issue of a referendum in Northern Ireland, to which he said: “That’s up to the people of Northern Ireland to decide. If the Northern Ireland Assembly wants to have one then they should be allowed to. “
He said that the people of Ireland need to be allowed to pass freely across the border, and this was in danger when the UK is no longer part of the European Union.
Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill has said recently that Northern Ireland should hold a referendum on leaving the United Kingdom and joining the Republic of Ireland "as soon as possible".
“Brexit will be a disaster for the economy, and a disaster for the people of Ireland,” O’Neill told journalists on Monday, according to Reuters.
“A referendum on Irish unity has to happen as soon a possible.”
Corbyn also voiced his opposition to a second referendum vote in Scotland but stated his belief that Westminster should not block such requests from the Scottish parliament.
“I don’t think Westminster should block it but I think there should be a serious discussion about the timing of it because if they referendum occurs during the Brexit negotiations it becomes a bit complicated.
“I would say that it shouldn’t take place, if it takes place, until after the Brexit negotiations have been completed.”
Corbyn also stated that the UK should give up its membership of the single market following Brexit.
"We can’t be members of the single market without being members of the European Union," he said.