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Sinn Fein: Don't play roulette with our economic prospects

By Rachel Martin

Published 04/06/2016

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness says he has "absolutely no faith" in the British government to protect the level of funding Northern Ireland currently receives from the EU if voters opt for Brexit.

The Deputy First Minister said he would push for a referendum on a united Ireland if the rest of the UK votes to leave.

At the launch of 'Putting Ireland First', Sinn Fein's campaign to vote 'remain' in the EU, members of the party pleaded with voters not to "play roulette" with the region's economic future.

Mr McGuinness said anything which would bring a border back would be detrimental to Northern Ireland.

He said a Brexit would be "catastrophic". "The prospect of border controls, the withdrawal of European subsidies and trade agreements would be disastrous for the socio-economic prospects of this island.

"I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in the argument put forward by those who are arguing for Brexit that the British government would compensate our farmers, our business community, the community and voluntary sector and the many other sectors which benefit from the relationship with the European Union," he said.

While he acknowledged change was needed within the EU, Mr McGuinness said his party would "forcibly" argue for a border poll in the event of an EU exit. He commented: "If there is such a disastrous consequence for the people of the whole island that there was a vote to exit Europe, I think there would be a very strong argument [for a border poll] and I think there should be a border poll to test people's opinion against that background."

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