July 31, 2019 / 7:45 AM / 20 days ago

Britain must offer border poll on Northern Ireland if hard Brexit - Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein Leader Mary Lou McDonald leaves a meeting with European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain would have to offer a referendum on Northern Ireland splitting from the United Kingdom if the government pursues a so-called hard Brexit, the head of Northern Ireland’s largest nationalist party said on Wednesday.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, who will meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson later on Wednesday, told BBC radio it would be “quite scandalous” for the government to not grant a border poll if it pursued a no-deal Brexit.

“I don’t know now how Britain could crash this part of Ireland out of the European Union ... and with a straight face suggest to any of us who live on this island that we should not be given the democratic opportunity ... to decide our future,” she said. “I think that would be quite scandalous.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper

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