Northern Ireland

Green Party: New referendum 'only Brexit option'

Green Party NI manifesto launch Image copyright Green Party NI/PA
Image caption The Greens won 2% of the vote at the last European election

Securing another referendum is the only way forward when it comes to breaking the Brexit deadlock, the Green Party in Northern Ireland leader has said.

Clare Bailey is standing as the party's candidate in the European election.

It is taking place on Thursday 23 May, with three Northern Ireland seats in contention between 11 candidates.

Ms Bailey said her party's success in the recent local government elections has spurred her on.

In the 2014 European poll, the party's candidate Ross Brown secured 2% of first preference votes.

This time, Ms Bailey said the dynamic is different and that voters want to see a different kind of politics.

"I think it's really disingenuous to say the people have spoken so now we must deliver," she said.

"I see it very differently - the populations of the UK are split, as well as within the devolved regions.

"In that context I don't see how Brexit can be delivered without the endorsement of the people."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Clare Bailey is standing in a European election for the first time

Ms Bailey said another referendum was "the only way forward" and her priority was to push for that.

She also encouraged voters to back the Green Party, before then transferring their votes to all other pro-remain candidates.

Ms Bailey said returning two anti-Brexit MEPs to Brussels was important, in order to send a strong message to EU officials that Northern Ireland citizens were paying attention to the Brexit debate.

Ms Bailey added: "If returned, I won't be sitting on my own in the European Parliament - I would be joining the Green bloc in Europe where we hold over 50 seats.

"It's an influential position, we have a voice and we have much work to do."

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