[Sinn Fein]

27 October 1997

Peace in Ireland


Freedom, Justice, Democracy, Equality
Nature, form and extent of new arrangements

A Sinn Fein submission to Strands One and Two of the peace talks

No negotiated outcome is either pre-determined or excluded in advance or limited by anything other than the need for agreement. Participation in negotiations is without prejudice to any participants commitment to the achievement by exclusively peaceful means of its preferred options.

Rules of Procedure

Sinn Fein seeks the establishment of a 32 county unitary state. This is also the preferred option of the parties which participated in the New Ireland Forum and is a constitutional imperative upheld in Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution.

The issue of sovereignty lies at the core of this process. That is, the power to enact domestic legislation and make international treaties; the power to influence and affect the everyday lives of the people of this island.

Ultimately the power to decide and give effect to new arrangements and the relationship to other arrangements through the enactment of domestic legislation or international treaty resides with the sovereign authority. The outcome of the negotiation on the issue of sovereignty will, above all else, determine the shape and detail of new arrangements and the relationship to other arrangements.

The preferred options of the participants in relation to the key issues of sovereignty, the issue of partition and the constitutional status of the six-counties will be reflected in their submissions on the agenda items of new arrangements. This is as true of the Sinn Fein submission on these matters as it is of the other participants.

Sinn Fein's submission, therefore, is clearly in the context of our preferred option on the issues of sovereignty, partition and the constitutional status of the six counties. That is, in the context of a unitary, politically independent, sovereign all-Ireland state.

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