Ian Paisley tables bill in Westminster proposing 'supermajority' for constitutional change

Ian Paisley has brought the ‘Referendum Supermajority Bill’ to Parliament Credit: PA

The DUP’s Ian Paisley has brought a bill to Parliament in Westminster proposing new legislation for referendums on any country leaving the United Kingdom.

The ‘Referendum Supermajority Bill’ would mean that 50%-plus-one would not be enough to bring about the reunification of Ireland if it was put to a vote.

Currently the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement states a united Ireland can occur "agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland".

However, the move has been met with criticism from other political parties who have described it as a stunt.

“This is essentially just a trolling exercise from someone who has decided against being a serious political actor,” said the SDLP’s Claire Hanna.

“It won’t even be debated, let alone voted on. The 98 Agreement, including the principle of consent, remains sovereign.”

The Alliance’s Stephen Farry said: “This is just a stunt. It is a purely paper exercise in practice. It will go absolutely nowhere.”

Should the bill be passed, it would also impact any vote on Scottish independence.

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