Northern Ireland

General election 2017: Greens want Brexit deal poll

Green Parry's 2017 General Election manifesto Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption The Green Party manifesto included s a 2% tax increase for the wealthiest 1% of the population

There should be a referendum on the final Brexit deal, the Green Party in Northern Ireland has said.

Last year's EU referendum had created "huge uncertainty" and there must be a fresh poll on any deal negotiated by the UK government, it said.

The call came at the party's manifesto launch in south Belfast for next month's general election.

The Greens are standing in seven NI constituencies, but have never won a Westminster seat from Northern Ireland.

The issue of Brexit dominated much of party leader Steven Agnew's speech to party workers, candidates and journalists at the manifesto launch.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Green Party deputy leader Claire Bailey and party leader Steven Agnew at the party's manifesto launch

"We need a referendum on the final deal because the full facts and true understanding of Brexit was unavailable when we all participated in the June 2016 vote," he said.

The Green Party MLA said his party was taking a case to the Irish courts in an attempt to establish that Article 50 which initiates EU withdrawal is reversible.

The party lobbied to remain in the EU during last year's referendum campaign and Mr Agnew said he and his colleagues were "proudly pro-European and part of a European wide Green movement".

The Green Party manifesto included a range of policy commitments such as a 2% tax increase for the wealthiest 1%.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Claire Bailey, the Green Party's South Belfast Westminster candidate, speaking during the party's manifesto launch

The party also wants to increase NHS funding by £10bn in the short-term and the Greens also want to end undergraduate tuition fees and reintroduce a student grant.

The party says if elected, its MPs will also work to advance workers' rights, as well as maternity and paternity provisions.

The manifesto also includes a call to raise child benefit, ban zero-hour contracts and scrap the planned reduction in Corporation Tax and increase it to 30% for larger companies.