By 1916 Societies
The upcoming ‘Brexit’ referendum on 23rd June, while principally a constitutional matter for the people of Britain, holds significance for Ireland given Britain’s continuing claim to sovereignty over the Six Counties and her ongoing occupation of the North.
Yet again the outworking of British policy in Ireland will impact on the national rights of the Irish people, inhibiting their ability to decide on matters pertaining to them and they alone, matters that are for the Irish to determine free from external impediment and in accord with their rights to freedom and sovereignty.
For the 1916 Societies, ‘Brexit’, then, brings to the fore the undemocratic partition of our country and the resulting denial of our own rights as a nation. With that in mind, we assert that Britain should withdraw from Ireland and allow her people to freely determine their own future.
Beyond that, that the EU is a corporate club to facilitate Big Business, its remit to subvert national democracy that Big Business be better served, is for us obvious. It is an anathema for Irish republicans to conceive of a role for Ireland within its imperialist framework.
That said, the Ireland we envisage - a progressive and democratic 32-county Irish Republic - rather than retreat into isolation, itself an impossibility in the modern and global age, would seek instead an outward alliance with other like-minded nations, among them those currently trapped within the UK state.
Our hope is to forge a social Europe, a ‘free federation of free peoples’ as once imagined by James Connolly, a community of nations where all of us, while retaining control of our destinies, work in partnership and with mutual respect towards realising common goals. This demands that Irish national sovereignty be restored and go forward unmolested.
A national referendum, as set out in our One Ireland One Vote initiative, can mandate and empower such a ‘New Ireland’ - an Ireland free to advance within a democratic Europe, where the dominant position of capital gives way to popular need. It is a pathway to a meaningful democracy that upholds Irish sovereignty as highest priority, in both a national context and how it relates to the world beyond.
An end to partition and a rebirth of democracy would herald a new beginning for Ireland, opening the door to societal advance nationwide. One Ireland One Vote can begin that process and should go forward at once. Regardless of a ‘Brexit’ or the future trajectory of Britain, it remains our democratic entitlement.