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Why don’t Sinn Féin MPs sit in parliament?

Sinn Féin abstains.

By New Statesman

Sinn Féin is an Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Its central aim is for a united Ireland. It opposes Westminster’s jurisdiction in Northern Ireland, and its oath to the Queen, so its MPs abstain from sitting in parliament.

In the 2017 election, it won seven seats at Westminster, all of them abstentionist. The MPs work for their constituents, and every so often visit Westminster to use its facilities and meet with government ministers, but refuse to sit in an institution they do not see as legitimate.

There have been suggestions that the Sinn Féin MPs would take their seats to counterbalance a government propped up by the DUP (a unionist Northern Ireland party) MPs. But Sinn Féin denies this.

The DUP has ten MPs who sit in parliament, and could prop up a Tory minority government.

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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