Sunday 25 September 2016

Leo Varadkar says calls for united Ireland vote after Brexit result 'unhelpful'

David Kearns

Published 24/06/2016 | 15:14

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Collins
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Collins

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said Sinn Fein calls for a poll on a united Ireland are 'unhelpful'.

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Speaking outside the Chartered accountants house in Dublin today, he said:

"It's a sad day for Ireland, Britain and the European Union but as a government we fully respect the decision of the UK people to leave the Union.

“For us now the mission is to get as good an outcome as we can for Ireland.

“From a social protection perspective my first priority now is to safeguard cross border workers, postal workers, British people working here and Irish people in the UK.

"I want to ensure the hundreds of thousands of people living in Ireland who receive a UK state pension that their status is unchanged.

"Britain has voted to leave the EU but they're not gone just yet. Until such a time that we agree new arrangements between ourselves and the UK, and the UK and the EU, the pensions, workers rights and the cross border employment issues that existed yesterday remain unchanged.”

He said Sinn Fein comments calling for a vote on a united Ireland were 'unhelpful'.

“I think it's unhelpful to be honest. The last thing we need now is more division and uncertainty.

“There is no evidence that there's an increased desire for Northern Ireland to leave the UK. The recent Assembly elections are evidence of that.”

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