Another anti-Brexit plot has come to light, this one involving the Irish republican party, Sinn Fein.


A columnist for the Irish Times, Fintan O'Toole, has come up with a new ploy to try and stop a no-deal Brexit.

Although whenever anyone talks about stopping a no deal Brexit I personally take that as a cover story for stopping Brexit completely.

Anyway, there are currently seven Sinn Fein MPs in Northern Ireland.

But, because they refuse to take the MPs oath of allegiance to the monarch, they cannot take up their seats in Parliament and they therefore forfeit their voting rights when legislation is made.

Now, Sinn Fein is a Remainer party so, if its MPs did take their seats it would obviously completely wipe-out Boris Johnson's Brexit majority of one.

But Sinn Fein MPs would never swear the oath and take their seats, which has thus far been automatically factored in without much thought.

So the basic idea here from Fintan O'Toole is that Sinn Fein strikes a deal with pro-EU parties in Northern Ireland for them to put up a single candidate in each seat currently held by Sinn Fein.

The Sinn Fein MPs would then resign, so forcing seven by-elections.

And if they moved quickly and co-ordinated with Westminster Remain MPs they could have held and won the elections by the end of September or soon after. So giving them about four weeks to help work at defeating Boris Johnson's plans.

There are though a few things that the replacement candidates would probably have to sign up to, such as respecting the Sinn Fein political stance and only voting on Brexit related issues and also stand down as soon as their presence is no longer required for the designated task.

Sinn Fein and its current MPs would also lose out on any cash involved for the duration.

And Fintan O'Toole says that with claims that a no deal Brexit would cause financial problems both sides of the border, then this is the right thing for those MPs to do.

But Sinn Fein would have to consider whether this would be seen as their party taking up those seats and swearing the oath of allegiance to the crown by proxy to achieve their goals. Because they would be making contracts with people who would have to swear that allegiance in order to fulfil the aim.

Also, how many of the usual Sinn Fein voters would back someone who will be swearing allegiance to the UK?

And, should such a circumstance come about, I would regard anyone voted in as an MP on this basis as a proxy Sinn Fein MP – and many others might too.

And Sinn Fein would also have to consider the really big question:

which would be more likely to bring a united island of Ireland closer – a Boris Johnson no deal Brexit, or the possibility of stopping Brexit therefore returning back to the old soft but still eternally divided Ireland situation?

For many, stopping Brexit is the aim. But as far as I know, for Sinn Fein the overarching aim is a united Ireland.


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