Launch Press Release February 2021: New British-based voice on Ireland

Labour For Irish Unity (LFIU) is now officially launching as a new voice in Britain on the politics of Ireland.

For the last eighteen months a group of individuals in the Labour Party, trade unions and British Irish communities have been holding discussions about the need for a new initiative promoting Irish unity in Britain. These discussions have now come to fruition with the formal establishment of Labour For Irish Unity.

Laura Sullivan, the co-chair of  LFIU explains:

“There is a growing debate throughout Ireland about re-unification, how that can be achieved, and what a new state should look like in terms of political, social and economic equality. All significant Irish political parties and many prominent individuals – including from the unionist community – have joined this debate. It is time this conversation was reflected in British politics. Britain still maintains ultimate authority in Northern Ireland. The exercise of that authority has rarely proved beneficial for the people living there.”

LFIU believes that the recent controversies over Brexit, the failure of the Tory government to launch an enquiry into past collusion between British security forces and loyalist terror gangs, the threat of the same inherent in the new “Spy-Cop” legislation, and the increase in the votes for anti-partition parties in both parts of Ireland have established a new context. Sullivan also points out: “The Good Friday Agreement was a major step forward, but not all its provisions have been enacted, while others were left vague. For example, the circumstances in which a border poll takes place need to be spelt out and agreed.”

The Good Friday Agreement promised that all decisions about Ireland’s future would be taken by the people of Ireland themselves. But opinion in Britain can help inform that debate, especially one that makes it clear that, contrary to what Tories say, many living here do not regard the British/Northern Irish union as “precious”. As Sullivan concludes:

“It is especially in the labour movement where, traditionally, the friends of Ireland have been most numerous. That is why we are concentrating our attention there, as well as in local Irish communities. Let us discuss how Britain leaves Ireland for good.”