Seanad debates

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Ian MarshallIan Marshall (Independent) | Oireachtas source

-----and should be seen as such. Do not underestimate the integrity of either the politicians or the electorate. The best people to decide the future of the UK and its relationship with Ireland, the EU and the rest of the world are ultimately the electorate. Give them all of the facts, and I mean all of the facts, give them all of the information and let them decide. Democracy dictates that one is entitled to change one's mind and it is not undemocratic to do so. British citizens, like Irish citizens, are perfectly entitled to change their mind based on information that they now have.

In a climate where we are all reminded of the importance of respect we must respect the referendum, which we have done; we must respect the need to get this right, which we are doing; and, we must respect the 16 million people who did not elect to leave. It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who said: "Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rules of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." In 2016, this decision was presented to an electorate. If the British Government is so divided and is failing to get a majority or a consensus then it must raise the question of whether this is the right thing to do. Brexit began being about opportunity and sovereignty and has ended up being about damage limitation and division. Leader, I urge that this Government gives the UK Government time and space, and accepts that a few extra weeks now would be time well spent.


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