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After Brexit, Sinn Fein seeks Irish reunification vote

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams (left) and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness addressed the Brexit vote Friday.Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Sinn Fein called for a referendum on Irish reunification, as the UK voted to quit the European Union after more than four decades.

Ireland was split in 1921 as part of the deal that gave most of the island independence from Britain, creating the 310-mile (500 kilometer) border between the two states. That border will now form the UK only land frontier with the bloc.

“The result intensifies the case” for a vote on Irish unity, Martin McGuinness, the province’s deputy first minister, said, broadcaster RTE reported.

While the border largely melted away with the end of violence in Northern Ireland, new restrictions may have to be reintroduced after a Brexit, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said before the vote. The government is holding an emergency meeting on Friday.


While Northern Ireland voted in favor of staying in the EU, unionist leaders in the region have already rejected Sinn Fein call for a referendum.