NI leaders divided in their reaction to Brexit vote

Arlene Foster welcomes the 'momentous' outcome. Credit: Press Eye

Northern Ireland’s leaders have been divided in their reactions to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.

First Minister Arlene Foster, who was in favour of a Brexit, said the democratic outcome of the referendum must be respected.

The overall UK vote to leave was in contrast with the vote in Northern Ireland, where 56% of people were in support of remaining in the EU.

Ms Foster said: “The result of the referendum is momentous for the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland in particular.

“We look forward to working with the rest of our colleagues in the UK in the best interests of Northern Ireland and of course our nation state.”

Meanwhile deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the British Government must now allow people here the chance to have their say on their own future.

He said: "This decision to drag us out of the European Union against our democratically expressed wishes, has nothing to do with issues around the European institutions and everything to do with the civil war within the British Tory party.

"The people of the north of Ireland, nationalists, republicans, unionists and others have made it clear at the polls that they wish to remain in the EU.

"Dragging us out of Europe will be to the detriment of all our citizens and will be bad for business, trade, investment, and wider society.”