SF’s ‘secret guide’ to unity

A secret Sinn Fein guide to Irish unification coaches party members on how to convince family and friends that taxpayers can afford the massive upheaval - and to assure them there would be no violence or chaos.

The Sinn Fein Activists’ Guide was given to party members - but not the media - at a party ‘Think-In’ on Monday in Cavan, The Times reported.

Sinn F�in President Mary Lou McDonald gave the keynote address at the party's national 'Think-In' in County Cavan where an Activists Guide on unification was distributed. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Sinn F�in President Mary Lou McDonald gave the keynote address at the party's national 'Think-In' in County Cavan where an Activists Guide on unification was distributed. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The guide says: “There will be a referendum and we need to prepare to win... We have to work for this daily by popularising republican ideals...”

On whether the republic could “afford to take on another six counties” it discusses whether taxes would rise if NI was no longer subsidised with £10bn a year from London. “It is not clear what the actual subvention really is but it is lower than £10 billion,” it insists, suggesting that post-unity economic growth would see the need for NI government grants “disappear”.

Activists are advised to say that there will not be any violence in the south as a result of unification; “That day is gone”.

They are also briefed to say there will be “no chaos”.

However it does acknowledges there could be public sector job losses; “Of course a United Ireland will lead to efficiencies in public services as we will no longer have two separate agencies dealing with each and every task of government.”

Those who fear losing the NHS will be assured the party is “committed to an all-Ireland public health system delivered free at the point of delivery financed through general taxation”.

Activists will also assure unionists they would make up 20 per cent of the country and “exercise real authority”.

But UUP finance spokesman Steve Aiken said it was “ludicrous” to think UK citizens would abandon the NHS, a “world class” higher education system and a pension and taxation system backed by the 6th largest global economy.

This contrasts with the “very uncertain future” of the Republic which has only recently emerged from EU and UK bailouts, he added.

TUV leader Jim Allister responded that it was “ironic” that the Irish Minister for Finance had just revealed his public debt was €201 billion - “the third highest in the developed world” per capita.

DUP MLA Christopher Stalford said of the guide: “Billions of pounds of UK financial support for Northern Ireland are simply dismissed with the same lack of care as is expressed for tens of thousands of public sector workers who they admit would lose their jobs.”

Sinn Fein declined to offer any comment.