Today at Queens University Belfast Freshers’ Fair, QUB Sinn Fein will launch a petition to hold “a referendum at QUB Students’ Union on the prospect of Irish Unity.”
If successful in securing signatures from 2.5% of the QUB student population (approximately 584 students), as required by the QUB Student Union constitution, the petition will be lodged with the SU returning officer.
The returning officer will then contact a random sample of the petition signatories to ensure that the process has not been fraudulent. If the process is found to be corrupt due to an illegitimate signature, the lodged petition will be rejected and no further action will be taken on this matter. However if the petition is found to be valid, a referendum will be held enabling the entire student body at QUB to vote on the matter.
If a QUB student wide referendum is held, a 10% turnout (approx. 2400 students) is required for the union to take a stance on the outcome. If the turnout is lower than 10%, the union will consider the result to merely be a recommendation.
According to a QUB SF member the current wording of the potential referendum would be as follows:
“We the unresigned believe that Ireland should be a united and independent country – yes or no”.
In a press release QUB Sinn Fein states that a referendum should be held on this matter in order to stimulate civic conversation, as in their opinion “a United Ireland is not just a Republican pipe dream. It is in everyone’s interest, no matter their age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, nationality, background, or identity.”
The statement continues, “Whether you support Irish Unity, the link with Britain, or are undecided, we ask of you to sign the petition in order to give a voice to the students of our University.”
Both The Gown and The Scoop will have rolling coverage of this story, as and when it develops.
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