DUP Group leader on Mid Ulster Council Councillor Paul McLean has welcomed the outcome of the referendum when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.
“In the May Assembly elections the DUP, unlike some other parties, made it clear that we believed the UK was better to leave,” he said in a statement.
“We stated our position and campaigned that it is better for the United Kingdom to be outside the European Union and, subsequently, received that mandate from the electorate and were returned as the largest party in Northern Ireland.”
He said the DUP recognised that within Mid Ulster and in Northern Ireland as a whole more people voted to remain.
“This was always likely to be the case given the position adopted by the majority of other main stream political parties,” he continued.
“However Sinn Fein and those others who voted to remain need to remember that the referendum was a UK-wide referendum as it is the United Kingdom, and not its component parts, that is the member state of the European Union.
“Now that the decision has been made the DUP’s priority will be to ensure Northern Ireland’s interests are protected and advanced and that new opportunities are developed as part of any new arrangements within the UK.”
Referring to the recent special meeting of Mid Ulster Council to discuss the Brexit outcome, he said: “Sinn Fein in Mid Ulster called a meeting to discuss the outcome and the impact of Brexit for local people and business; however the question has to be asked ‘where were all the local Sinn Fein councillors during the EU referendum election campaign, on polling day and during the count’.”
“As usual we now see a huffing and puffing from Sinn Fein as they try to save face as on this occasion it was the SDLP who showed leadership for the ‘remain campaign’ in Mid Ulster not Sinn Fein.”