No doubt the Sindo isn’t making this suggestion for the sake of Sinn Fein’s good health, but it actually does make sense that an Irish party – wishing to represent the nation’s interest at home and abroad – should make its seven seats in Westminster available alongside Tory rebels in a crucial vote over the UK’s customs arrangements post Brexit…
Members of the Conservative Party who wisely support the UK remaining in the customs union intend to vote against Mrs May’s intended trade bill and, at this stage, look like they will have the support of the Labour Party, whose position on the UK remaining in the customs union is evolving to support the proposition. The vote will be close. Sinn Fein has a crucial seven votes which could inflict a significant House of Commons defeat on Mrs May’s government, an outcome which could potentially be a game changer in the entire Brexit debate. Mary Lou McDonald should now take that opportunity as an indication of her party’s claimed shift from the past. This will be a critical decision for the new Sinn Fein President.
I won’t elaborate further (for fear of edging into active discouragement), but surely there’s a time to put away the toys of political childhood and a time to step up for your nation’s interest?
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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