People of Northern Ireland rejected Brexit and continue to do so, says Long

The people of Northern Ireland rejected Brexit in 2016 and continue to do so, Alliance’s Naomi Long has told fellow MEPs.

Alliance Leader Mrs Long was speaking during a final vote on the Brexit deal in Brussels, with the withdrawal agreement officially being signed off before Brexit takes place on Friday. Mrs Long voted against the Withdrawal Agreement, saying it was a historic day but also “a day of profound regret at the departure of the UK from its place of influence in the EU”.

“The people of Northern Ireland rejected Brexit in 2016 and we are certainly not in agreement with this insular, isolationist and reckless course of action,” she said.

“The people of Northern Ireland will never withdraw the hand of friendship, the spirit of co-operation and the shared determination to secure peace and prosperity for all of our people. I am grateful to the EU, which has helped to shape our peace and which provides a model for pragmatic, win-win politics, not based upon division but embracing of diversity.

“I look forward to forging new ways of ensuring the close and enduring partnerships built between Northern Ireland and the EU continue to flourish. While myself and other MEPs will no longer be colleagues within the EU, I and others remain their colleagues outside of it, together championing the values of cooperation, interdependence and mutual respect which the EU represents, until one day we rejoin it.”