07 February 2018
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has said Sinn Fein’s attempt to confer EU voting rights on those holding an Irish passport whilst living in Northern Ireland after Brexit is a political stunt with no basis in law or reality.
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
Addressing MEPs in Strasbourg, Mrs Dodds said:
“The democratic decision to leave the European Union will be implemented in every region of the United Kingdom - including Northern Ireland.
The European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee recommends that following the UK’s exit a number of parliamentary seats will be redistributed. This of course is a matter for the EU. However some people believe that Brexit was driven by the democratic deficit within the EU and therefore the idea of a transnational list will only further reinforce this argument.
Despite all of the grandstanding, Sinn Fein’s attempt to allocate 3 more seats to the Irish Republic to directly replace those lost when Northern Ireland leaves was rightly rejected. That people living in Northern Ireland have a right to Irish citizenship and therefore EU citizenship is effectively a statement of fact, but to infer that this confers voting rights is a political stunt, with no basis in law or reality.
The EU treaties make it clear that the rights of those holding an Irish passport don’t include voting rights unless they reside within the Member State. Sinn Fein may wish this to be different, but it would violate the principle of consent contained in the Belfast Agreement. So much for respecting past agreements ‘in all of’ their ‘parts’."