Unionists overwhelmingly back Brexit: Dodds

Nigel Dodds said canvassing showed unionists backed leaving the EU

Nigel Dodds said canvassing showed unionists backed leaving the EU

The unionist community in Northern Ireland is overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has claimed.

Mr Dodds said the party would promote stability no matter what the referendum result next month.

The DUP will be the largest grouping in the next Stormont Assembly and is campaigning for an exit.

Mr Dodds said: “The Prime Minister has exactly the same vote as the person on the Shankill or the Falls Road so we will leave it to the people to decide.

“Whatever they decide it is important that Arlene (Foster), leading the government of Northern Ireland, is in a strong position to deliver the stability that needs to happen whatever the result of the EU referendum.”

He said canvassing had shown the unionist community was overwhelmingly in favour of a Brexit and nationalists wanted to stay.

“It may break down like that but not totally homogeneously – there will be differences.

“Everybody in the referendum has exactly the same vote.”

The DUP has already confirmed it will push for a Brexit but had sought more time after the Assembly election to organise its campaign.

It has claimed there will be little implications for free movement between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland or trade with EU countries.

Sinn Fein will lead the remain grouping and has warned of the consequences of an exit for farming and the wider economy.

Polls predict Northern Ireland will vote to remain.