Source: AP/Press Association Images
THE UK’S DECISION to leave the EU means Sinn Féin will press for a border vote in the North.
Both Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU, but the leave campaign was able to convince Wales and England to leave the union.
“We have a situation where the north is going to be dragged out on the tails of a vote in England… Sinn Fein will now press our demand, our long-standing demand, for a border poll,” Sinn Fein’s national chairman Declan Kearney said after the UK as a whole had vote to leave the EU.
Northern Ireland could now be faced with the prospect of customs barriers for trade with the Republic.
Under the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Secretary can initiate a poll in circumstances where it was clear public opinion had swung towards Irish unity.
The Republic would then vote on the matter.
Sinn Féin’s Ireland South MEP Liadh Ní Ríada said that today’s results showed that.
The British government has no mandate to represent the views of the North in any future negotiations with the EU and therefore I am now reiterating our previous calls for a referendum on Irish Unity.
“It is unacceptable that a majority in England and Wales can alter the constitutional status of the North against the wishes of the people there.”
In Scotland, it looked likely that a second ballot on Scottish independence would also be held.
Two years after Scotland voted in a referendum to remain in the United Kingdom, its political leader First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a new independence vote is “definitely on the table” after Britain voted against the majority will expressed by Scots.
“Scotland sees its future as part of the EU,” Sturgeon told Sky News after the vote.
Speaking this morning, Sturgeon said she would begin the process of creating the legislation needed to run a second Scottish independence referendum.
“There are many people who voted against Scottish independence who are reconsidering their vote this morning.”
She said the legislation would be available to the Scottish parliament whenever it desires.