Mary Lou McDonald distances Sinn Féin from ally Jeremy Corbyn

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Mary Lou McDonald distances Sinn Féin from ally Jeremy Corbyn


Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)

Mary Lou McDonald has distanced Sinn Féin from long-time ally, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, after his overtures to the DUP on Brexit.

At the weekend, Mr Corbyn said Labour was prepared to step in and negotiate an alternative withdrawal agreement to the one prime minister Theresa May reached with the EU.

He also told Sky News that the DUP dislike the backstop designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland for “very good and sensible reasons”.

Mr Corbyn has long been an ally of Sinn Féin and Ms McDonald was asked if she was disappointed with his remarks.

She said: “Jeremy Corbyn and all others who are in the British Parliament are British politicians pursuing what they understand and believe to be British national interest. That’s what Westminster does. That’s what British politicians do.

“They are more than entitled and within their full rights to do that.”

She said it’s the job of Irish politicians to protect Irish national interests.

Asked if Mr Corbyn is wrong to suggest he could get an alternative Brexit deal Ms McDonald said: “he’s doing and saying the things he believes are right as the leader of the British Labour Party and that’s a matter for himself.”

She added: “I have said to Jeremy before – we disagree and we differ dramatically on the issue of Brexit.”

Ms McDonald said she will today quiz Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Ireland’s preparations for a no deal Brexit.

She said she will also ask if the government has been preparing for “constitutional transition” and a possible referendum on Irish Unity in the case of a Bexit scenario where Britain crashes out without a deal.

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Online Editors


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