SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has called on the Irish government to support Northern Ireland interests in negotiations following the UK vote to leave the EU.
“This will be a devastating blow potentially to our economy and to our society that’s why people in Northern Ireland voted to stay in, that’s why people in Scotland voted to stay in and that’s why young people voted to stay in.
“We’re saying very, very clearly that there should not be any physical or metaphorical border put up across this island we have to make sure that we still allow the freedom of movement people and goods and business right across this island.
“That’s why we’re calling on the Irish government to make sure that that happens in these negotiations, the Irish government is in a very strong position, they have to be a good friend to Britain but more importantly, they have to look after the people of this island.”
The party has called for the Irish government to convene an all-party forum for political parties on both sides of the border to consider the issues and implications arising from the result.
Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has said a referendum on a united Ireland would not be “justified or helpful” at present.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said “the implications for NI and relations will require careful consideration” following the UK's Brexit vote.
Northern Ireland’s leaders have been divided in their reactions to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.