Gerry Adams: Nationalists have voted against Brexit

Assembly poll a mandate for North to receive special designated status in EU – Adams

Nationalists in Northern Ireland have voted to oppose Brexit, Gerry Adams said on Friday.

With the prospect of a hard land Border dividing the island of Ireland, the Sinn Féin president said the Stormont Assembly poll was a mandate for Northern Ireland to receive special designated status within the European Union.

Sinn Féin will again be the largest party in nationalism in the next Assembly if the power-sharing institutions can be resurrected.

“It is also a re-assertion of our position on Brexit, that this part of Ireland should have a special designated status,” said Mr Adams.

“Whatever your position is on the constitutional issue, that the only way to stop a land frontier between a European state and the British state on this island is to make sure there is a special designated status within the European Union for this part of Ireland.”

Irish unity

Northern Ireland voted “Remain” in the June EU poll by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.

However, some largely unionist areas voted leave and the DUP, the largest party, campaigned for Brexit.

Mr Adams said Thursday it was a vote of confidence in his party's position. "It is a vote for Irish unity, a vote for us together as a people. As Ian Paisley famously told Martin McGuinness, we don't need English men to govern us."

He said it was about agreements which had already been made as well as a little bit of manners, respect and treating others the way you would want to be treated by unionists.

“It is a vote and a mandate, and it will have to be respected by the other parties and the two governments, for a step-change, for an end to the old status quo, for a new beginning to how we do our business.”