NI leaders divided in their reaction to Brexit vote

The UK has voted to leave the European Union after 43 years in an historic referendum, with the majority of Northern Ireland voters in favour of remaining in the EU.

Live updates

Green Party leader says Brexit consequences will be ‘severe for NI’

Green Party in Northern Ireland leader Steven Agnew said he was devastated at the EU referendum result and has claimed a Brexit will have severe consequences for Northern Ireland.

“Despite Northern Ireland voting Remain, we are being dragged towards the unknown by England,” he said.

“The Leave campaign promised that that money saved would be directed, for example, to the health service.

“The DUP, which has helped lead us into this mess, now needs to stand up and ensure that Northern Ireland receives its fair share of the alleged savings. Local businesses and the environment will suffer and the Green Party will work to ensure the DUP is held to account.

“Already there are reports that the Leave campaign has spun lies and mistruths over immigration and NHS spending. This is disgraceful. I now worry about border controls, human rights and how we will treat immigrants, who contribute to our economy in so many ways.”

Advertisement

Leave vote ‘good news’ for Northern Ireland – Edwin Poots

The DUP’s Edwin Poots has welcomed the UK's vote to leave the EU, stating it is “good news for the people of Northern Ireland”.

“The citizens of the United Kingdom have voted to be a sovereign nation once again and a nation where democracy can be manifested as opposed to unelected appointed commissioners making many decisions affecting everyday life,” the MLA said.

Commenting on NI's vote to remain, he continued: “We are one nation of the United Kingdom and that nation has made the decision, no one part of that nation will have the opportunity to veto that so the decision stands and we support that decision.

“It is up to us now to make the best of the circumstances we find ourselves in, to ensure that the United Kingdom economy grows.”

He also dismissed Sinn Féin’s call for a border poll.

“I would be calm about a border poll because if that referendum was called I would be absolutely and totally confident that it would be an overwhelming majority to stay with the United Kingdom,” he said.

“In any event it is for the Secretary of State to call that referendum on the basis that there is a prospect there actually being a united Ireland.

“There is no prospect of there being a united Ireland, it is a churlish and childish call to actually be seeking a border poll at this point but I don’t think any of us have anything to fear from any such poll.”

Ulster Unionists call for Executive’s plan following EU vote

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt has said the public needs to be reassured that the Executive has a plan for the way forward following the UK voting in favour of leaving the European Union.

“Despite the clear majority within Northern Ireland voting to Remain within the European Union, we must respect the overall result and deal with it and its implications, political, financial and social,” he said.

“There is no evidence that the Executive has been planning for this outcome. They need to move very quickly to reassure the public that there is a plan, because the full implications for Northern Ireland may not be clear for up to two years.”

He said he was “disappointed” by Sinn Féin’s call for a border poll which he said would introduce further uncertainty.

“I call on the Secretary of State to make clear she will not initiate a referendum on Northern Ireland’s constitutional future,” he added.

“This has been a bitter and divisive campaign. The result changes the nature of the United Kingdom and the Ulster Unionist Party will be tireless in playing its role in ensuring the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland remains strong.”

Sinn Féin calls for border poll following NI vote on EU

Sinn Fein's Declan Kearney at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, after the Leave campaign claimed victory. Credit: PA

Sinn Féin has said there is a "democratic imperative" for a border poll after Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU.

South Antrim MLA and national party chairperson Declan Kearney said: “English votes have overturned the democratic will of Northern Ireland. This was a cross-community vote in favour of remaining in the EU.

“English voters are dragging Northern Ireland out of the EU.”

He said the party will now press for the calling of a border poll under the under the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement.

Advertisement

Fermanagh and South Tyrone vote Remain

The electorate in Fermanagh and South Tyrone have voted in favour of remaining in the EU.

There were 28,200 votes for remain and 19,958 for Leave.

Turnout in the area was the highest in Northern Ireland at 67.82% with 48,187 votes polled.

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports