A single economy for the island of Ireland would be good for prosperity, jobs and investment, Sinn Fein has claimed.
Party president Gerry Adams called on the Irish and British governments to set a date for a border poll and let the people of Northern Ireland vote on a united Ireland.
Delivering a keynote address almost 15 years since the Good Friday Agreement, he said a referendum in the next term of the Assembly and Oireachtas would be a key element in moving forward.
“Irish unity makes sense,” the Louth TD said in Dublin.
“It makes political sense. It makes economic sense. It is in the best interests of the people of these islands.”
Despite loyalists staging a protest in Belfast over the Union flag controversy for a seventh week and the economic crisis in the Republic of Ireland, Mr Adams maintained that it is time to legislate for the island to be united.
“Republicans believe that partition has been bad for the people of this island and for our economy. It has been bad for investment, bad for growth, bad for jobs,” Mr Adams said.
“A planned single-island economy would be good for prosperity, good for jobs, good for investment. It would benefit everyone. Together is stronger.”
Greater co-operation and harmonisation and unity would transform the economic and political landscape, Mr Adams said.
“Imagine the financial and efficiency benefits if there was one education system, one health service, one energy network and all-island investment practices.
“Imagine one economy, not two, and without the differing rates in VAT, in corporation tax, in excise duties, as well as currency.
“Imagine how much better off citizens would be if there was a comprehensive all-Ireland economic recovery plan which was able to deliver prosperity and sustainable economic growth.
“Imagine ‘Brand Ireland’ being employed creatively to grow our exports and create jobs.
“All of these things and more are possible.”