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Karen Bradley's Leave majority increase claim 'laughable': Alliance MLA

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Alliance South Antrim MLA John Blair

Alliance South Antrim MLA John Blair

Alliance South Antrim MLA John Blair

An Alliance party MLA has hit back at the claim from Karen Bradley a second EU referendum would result in a bigger majority for the Leave side.

Branding the claim "laughable", South Antrim MLA John Blair said Brexit was "one of the biggest acts of self-harm facing the UK, with Northern Ireland in particular facing significant damage to our economy and social cohesion".

The remarks from the Secretary of State were made during an address at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in London - an event Mr Blair is also attending.

Outlining her opposition to a second vote on Britain leaving the EU, Mrs Bradley said: "I personally think, from my knocking on doors, there would be a bigger vote for Leave.

"The fact is the people spoke. We had a people's vote."

Mrs Bradley said much of what the European Union has put forward regarding the Brexit backstop are "not acceptable" to the unionist community in Northern Ireland or the British government.

"To suggest a People's Vote would result in a bigger Leave vote is simply laughable," said Mr Blair.

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"People have seen the lies spun by the leave campaign during the referendum, the breaking of the law, the failure to follow through on promises such as money to the NHS and questions remaining over 'dark money', and I have absolutely no doubt the majority of voters would back Remain, just as they did in Northern Ireland."

After last week's crunch meeting between EU leaders and Theresa May, there were positive noises about progress towards a deal - although the border on the island of Ireland remains an issue of contension.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, the Prime Minister claimed the terms for Britain leaving the EU were 95% agreed, but that the border remained a "considerable sticking point".


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