The Government Must Stop trying to Gut the Good Friday Agreement start the Work of All Ireland Convergence Now.
Speaking today at the Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement, Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated;
“Aontú is an all Ireland party with elected reps on both sides of the border. Aontú means Unity. It is one of our primary goals. Its clear from the Claire Byrne Show last night that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are retreating from the democratic principles of the Good Friday Agreement. Mícheal Martin and Leo Varadkar stated last night that the majoritarian corner stone of the Good Friday Agreement was not enough."
"They spoke of not seeking to coerce large numbers of Unionist into a United Ireland. Absolutely, no one wants to coerce Unionists. We need to attract, convince and persuade."
"However, a minority veto on the will of the majority is a form of coercion also. The mechanism we have to prevent coercion and veto is all citizens signing up and accepting the democratic will. That’s what Nationalists agreed to when signing up to the Good Friday Agreement. Reversing from this key democratic principle is an enormous injustice. It changes the democratic goal posts and guts the Good Friday Agreement. Its sets a different threshold for Nationalists and Unionists."
"Its also really important to note that most people accept there will be a Unity referendum. Even Gregory Campbell accepts that it will happen. I don’t think that the penny has dropped with the southern political establishment that the decision on whether there is a Unity Referendum is outside the control the southern government. Its not up to the Irish government. Its up to the Secretary of State for the North and whether the there is a likely majority for unity in the north."
"There could well be a referendum in 5 years and the unless the government changes from a reluctantly passive policy in terms of preparation we could find ourselves like the British in a crisis situation on the eve of the Brexit Referendum with no preparation done at all."
"The border is like a wall with hundreds of bricks, each brick a point of economic and social diverge. Each brick a significant economic cost to the people. Differences in cancer treatment, difference income tax, ambulance service, policing, difference in drug treatment, in third level education, in road and rail infrastructure and excise on fuel all makes lives more difficult for people on both sides of the border."
"3 years ago on behalf of the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee I authored a report on the all-Ireland Economy, the first such Oireachtas report since the foundation of the state believe it or not. I interviewed well over 100 people. Everyone I spoke to, no matter what background they were from stated that if we plan together, fund services together and deliver together they will be better services, more beneficial to the people and more efficiently delivered. There is a logical benefit to this whether or not there is ever Unity but it would of course mean that transition to unity will be far more successful. Aontú is calling for this practical work to be done now."
"We need to create a New Ireland forum now to invite all political and civic society from all over Ireland to look at how we can converge and cooperate now. But also how we can solve the threats of Brexit and build towards Irish Unity”.