Sinn Féin and SDLP 'open' to talks on anti-Brexit electoral pact

Sinn Féin and the SDLP have not ruled out the possibility of entering into an anti-Brexit electoral pact.

Both party leaders said they were open to talking with other Remain parties about a way forward to protect Northern Ireland from a hard Brexit.

Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU Referendum by a majority of 56% to 44%

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood insisted his party would not be entering into a "sectarian pact", but admitted he was "open to any discussion on how we can protect the Remain vote in Northern Ireland".

"If Theresa May wants an election about Brexit, let's show her that people in Northern Ireland don't support a hard Brexit.

"We don't do sectarian pacts where it's unionist versus nationalist. We will speak to anybody who wants to retain our membership of the European Union and protect our citizens from a hard Brexit," he said.

Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill said the party want to fight the election "very strongly on the ground of anti-Brexit" and austerity policies and would therefore "be up for (electoral pact) discussions."

Earlier Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott said his party would be having talks with the DUP about an electoral pact in the next few days.

On Tuesday, UUP leader Robin Swann said he was "open" to discussion on the issue of pacts.

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has also said his party wanted to "quickly" arrange talks with the UUP on a potential pact.


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