Martin McGuinness seeks urgent meeting with Enda Kenny over Brexit

Martin McGuinness is seeking an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach following the UK's decision to leave the European Union. Picture by Lesley Anne McKeown, Press Association 
Staff Reporter

DEPUTY First Minister Martin McGuinness has requested an urgent meeting with the taoiseach to discuss the UK's exit from the European Union saying there needs to be "special arrangements" for the north.

A majority of voters in the north opted to remain in the EU in Thursday's referendum, although voters in Britain decided to leave.

Mr McGuinness told the BBC yesterday that Taoiseach Enda Kenny needs to represent the wishes of the Northern Ireland electorate.

"I think in the immediate future the focus needs to be on the whole issue of how we can maintain our relationship with Europe which has been so beneficial to us over the course of the last number of decades," the Sinn Féin assembly member said.

"There needs to be special arrangements which take account of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of the north of Ireland and Scotland."

Meanwhile, the Dáil is to be recalled today to discuss the impact of Brexit on the Republic.

The Republic's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, told RTÉ the Brexit will not immediately affect the border.

He will meet Secretary of State Theresa Villiers in Belfast tomorrow to discuss how the shock result will affect the north and its links with the Republic.

Mrs Villiers had campaigned for the UK to leave the EU.

Mr Flanagan said any changes triggered by the vote will not happen for at least two years. He previously dismissed any suggestion that a border poll on a united Ireland should be held in the wake of Brexit.

"I believe any further referendums, with particular reference to the status of Northern Ireland, or otherwise, would in the circumstances be most unhelpful," he said.

The Republic's Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said his officials are looking at how the result will affect the Irish farming industry.

He said fluctuations between the Euro and Sterling may cause difficulties.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access