Government urged to include border vote in national risk report

Government urged to include border vote in national risk report

The Government’s refusal to include the possibility of a border poll in its report on threats to the country’s economy has left a void, a Fianna Fáil senator has claimed.

Mark Daly accused the Government of neglecting policy by not including any future referendum on removing the Irish border in its National Risk Assessment.

The national assessment identifies geopolitical, economic, environmental, social and technological risks to the economy.

Mr Daly and Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming have issued a joint submission to the Government’s draft assessment consultation urging Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to address the possibility of a united Ireland.

Senator Mark Daly, who has called for the Government to include the possibility of a border poll in its National Risk Assessment (PA)
Senator Mark Daly, who has called for the Government to include the possibility of a border poll in its National Risk Assessment (PA)

The report will carry out a wide-ranging assessment of threats including global warming, cyber security, terrorism, the healthcare crisis, the housing crisis as well as the possibility of another referendum on Scottish independence.

Mr Daly said there is a necessity for policy preparation on a united Ireland.

Deputy Fleming said: “This leaves a void in the National Risk Assessment process.

“What other issues has the Taoiseach decided are too sensitive to be dealt with in the National Risk Assessment and have been hidden from the people of Ireland?”

Mr Daly said that the Brexit referendum has taught Ireland an “important lesson”.

“You do not hold a referendum until there is debate and discussion with all sides and all necessary preparations are made,” he added.

“Policy neglect seldom goes unpunished and this is very true of the lack of policy preparation for a referendum on a new Agreed Ireland by the Government.”

Mr Daly accused Mr Varadkar and the Government of failing to listen to other leaders including British Prime Minister Theresa May and DUP leader Arlene Foster, who raised the issue of a border poll.

Last month, an RTE exit poll suggested there is significant support among Irish voters for a united Ireland.

The poll found that 65% of voters polled indicated they would vote in favour of a united Ireland if a referendum was held tomorrow.

It also found that 19% would vote against the proposal, and 15% of respondents said they did not know or refused to answer the question.

Following two years of often strained negotiations between the EU and the UK, Mr Daly said that Brexit “has and will” change everything.

In 2017, the joint committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement published its report, Brexit and the future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and its people in peace and prosperity.

The report, compiled by Mr Daly, details the steps needed to achieve a united Ireland.

Mr Daly said: “None of the 17 recommendations put forth by the joint committee have been carried out by the Government to date, despite being adopted unanimously in July 2017.

“These key recommendations should be implemented as a matter of extreme urgency.”

- Press Association

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