Fianna Fáil will campaign against #Brexit in NI regardless of the outcome of #GE16…

Just putting this here, in case anyone misses it…

If the UK referendum happens in June, it is Fianna Fáil’s intention to lay out the case in Northern Ireland for it to remain as part of the European Union. For the other jurisdictions which will be voting, it is up to them to assess what is in their best interests, but the case for Northern Ireland remaining in the European Union is overwhelming and we should not and will not be silent in the campaign. This will apply, even if we are in the new Government the country so badly needs.

Having opposed EU membership, both North and South, and every single EU proposal in the South, Sinn Féin has chosen to join the Social Democratic and Labour Party, SDLP, in calling for Northern Ireland to remain in the European Union. This is welcome. I hope its hard Eurosceptic rhetoric of the past four decades will not have done too much damage.

Note the focus on NI inside the EU. It’s a reflection of the economic and political consequences for the Republic of the UK pulling out, and not purely confined north south: there’s the threat a free wheeling tax cutting UK economy presents Ireland’s current position within the EU.

From a party point of view, it also provides them with the tactical benefit of giving their membership something public and political to get their teeth into ahead of the prospective 2019 council and EP election campaigns, and getting decent media profile on a larger scale NI policy issue…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty