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Watch: European Parliament applauds as Jim Nicholson points out 'there's no such legal entity as the north of Ireland'

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has criticised Sinn Fein for again using European Parliament procedures to refer to Northern Ireland as “the north of Ireland”.

As MEPs voted on the 2018 work programme for the European Commission, Mr Nicholson took to the floor to point out that two amendments from Sinn Fein’s group referred to “the north of Ireland”. The amendments were rejected by a large majority.

Speaking after the vote, Mr Nicholson also pointed out the irony of Sinn Fein seeking “special status” for a region they refuse to call by its proper, legal name.

He added: "Once again, Sinn Fein and their communist colleagues in the European Parliament have tried to use official procedures to promote a narrative suggesting Northern Ireland is not a legitimate jurisdiction.

“There is no such legal or political entity called “the north of Ireland”. This is not an ambiguous or contentious issue - it is a simple matter of fact.

“They say they want “special status”, but they cannot even say the name of the region they want this special status for. MEPs from across the house are now well aware of this, and the amendment was roundly rejected.

“It is clear for all to see that Sinn Fein’s concern is not the economic wellbeing of the people of Northern Ireland, rather it is about trying to use the European Parliament as a platform for anti-UK posturing.

“My intervention today was well received by colleagues across political groups and I will be pursuing this issue with the President of the Parliament.”

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