Brexit: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Labour, St Helens North

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2018 to Question 153188 on Common Travel Area, for what reason the reciprocal voting rights for Irish citizens do not cover referendums; and what assessment she has made of the implications of that for Irish citizens in Northern Ireland in relation to any border poll conducted under schedule 1 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The voting rights which will continue to be enjoyed by British and Irish citizens are reciprocal. British citizens may vote in local and parliamentary elections in Ireland but not Presidential elections or referendums. This reciprocal right is reflected in the voting rights of Irish citizens living in the United Kingdom.

I continue to believe that a majority in Northern Ireland favour Northern Ireland's place in the United Kingdom. The test for a border poll set out in the 1998 Northern Ireland Act has therefore not been met.

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