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Work to begin on 'challenges' relating to Northern Ireland border with Republic in preparation for Brexit - David Cameron

Northern Ireland will be involved in EU exit negotiations

By Jonny Bell

Published 27/06/2016

Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons. PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons. PA Wire

Outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron has said talks are to begin with the Irish government on the "challenges" over the border with Northern Ireland in preparation for the UK's departure from the EU.

He also said the European Union exit negotiations will involve Northern Ireland, alongside the Scottish and Welsh administrations.

Mr Cameron described Thursday's EU referendum as one of the "biggest democratic exercises in our history".

With over 33million taking to the polls, 17m voted to Leave the EU.

The majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to Remain.

In the wake of the result, Mr Cameron announced his resignation.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, the Prime Minister said it was up to his successor to undertake the negotiations in the best interests of the UK.

He also dismissed a second referendum on the matter. Millions have signed an online petition calling for there to be a second poll.

He added: "We should be proud of our parliamentary democracy but it is right when we consider questions of this magnitude that we don't leave it to politicians but rather listen directly to the people.

"And members of this house voted for a referendum on a margin of six to one."

Mr Cameron said he and his ministers were working to stabilise the country and the economy in preparation for the negoiations. A new EU unit will be created to undertake the process.

He said it was important to "bring our country together" given recent reports of racist incidents.

He said the Northern Ireland Assembly will have a role to play in the negotiations to exit the EU.

"We will fully involve the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments," he told MPs.

"My officials will work intensively together to bring our devolved administrations into the process for determining decisions that need to be taken.

"While all key decisions have to wait for the new prime minister a lot of work can be started and has been.

"For instance the British and Irish governments begin meeting this week to work through the challenges relating to the common border area."

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson asked the Prime Minister to "dismiss" calls for a border poll and claims devolved administrations can prevent a Brexit.

The Prime Minister responded: "On the border poll issue, the rules are set out very clearly in the Good Friday agreement, and I do not believe they have been triggered.

"In terms of the decision to leave the EU and how we do it, that is principally a matter for this Westminster—the United Kingdom—Parliament."

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