Unionists slam McGuinness’ border poll call

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UUP leader Mike Nesbitt has slammed Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for calling for a border poll in the wake of Thursday’s Brexit poll.

“I am very disappointed but not surprised that the deputy First Minister’s reaction was to introduce further uncertainty by calling for a border poll on a united Ireland,” he said.

“If he really was the First Minister for all that he claims to be, he would not be taking such an opportunistic and party political stance. I call on the Secretary of State to make clear she will not initiate a referendum on Northern Ireland’s constitutional future,” he added.

Mr McGuinness argued that 30million voters in England and Wales shouldn’t be allowed to dictate Northern Ireland’s future.

“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,” he said.

“The British government now need to take account of that and recognise that reality and allow the people of the north to have their say on their own future. 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.”

He added: “Sinn Féin will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish government, the European institutions and also with our counterparts in Scotland to discuss how we move forward in the best interests of all of our people.”