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Sinn Féin calls for vote on united Ireland should Brexit go ahead

Deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness said he had made the proposal to Theresa Villiers.

Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

SINN FÉIN HAS made a call for a vote on a united Ireland should Britain decide to leave the European Union.

In a statement today, Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister Martin McGuinness called on British secretary of state Theresa Villiers to commit to holding a border poll in the case of June’s vote going in favour of Brexit.

Ireland’s place north and south is in Europe and leading change in Europe,” McGuinness said.

The Sinn Féin MLA went on to say that Britain leaving the EU would have big implications for people on both sides of the border and would “run counter to the democratic wishes of the Irish people”.

Such a negative development would represent a political and economic game changer.

Currently, the only major party in Northern Ireland that backs Britain leaving the EU is the Democratic Unionist Party. 

The Ulster Unionist Party, the Alliance Party and the SDLP are all also in support of Britain staying in.

Secretary of state Villiers has publicly expressed her backing for Britain to leave the EU, something that has previously led McGuinness to call for her resignation over. 

“I have proposed to Theresa Villiers that, given the enormous significance of these issues, the British government now give a firm commitment to an immediate border poll in the event Britain votes to leave the European Union,” he said.

Read: Sinn Féin councillor clarifies that comments were not calling for a ‘return to violence’

Also: The UUP and the DUP are on different sides of the great Brexit debate

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