Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said it is vital to continue to build European support for the campaign to have the remain vote of the people of the North respected.
Speaking after a series of meetings with EU leaders and senior MEPs in Brussels, Mr McGuinness said;
“I had a series of constructive meetings today with EU leaders and senior MEPs from across Europe at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the potential impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.
“Among those we met were MEPs who will lead the European Parliament’s negotiating team, including Guy Verhofstadt, the Parliament’s chief negotiator, in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
“I urged them to support the people of the North, the majority of whom voted to remain in the EU and to recognise the unique circumstances of the North and of the entire island of Ireland.
“We also met with EU Commissioner Phil Hogan and impressed on him the onus on the Irish government to represent the best interests of Irish citizens throughout the island.
“The EU has played a key role in supporting the peace process over several decades. We don’t want to see the British government’s determination to drag us out of the EU undermining that good work or providing cover for those who wish to attack the peace process.
“I was encouraged by the level of knowledge and understanding of our situation in the North and by the willingness of the EU leaders I met to consider options, which would see the remain vote of the majority of the North being respected.
“We will continue our engagements with EU leaders and others across Europe to ensure the democratic will of the people of the North is recognised.” ENDS/CRÍOCH