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Article / 24 June 2016 at 8:54 GMT

Could this lead to a disunited Kingdom?

First in Business Worldwide. /
  • Brexit vote shows UK deeply devided by geography
  • Scottish vote shows commitment to European Union
  • Sinn Fein calls for Northern Ireland referendum


One of the clearest characteristics of the stunning victory for the campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union was how deeply the country was divided on geographical lines.
With strong backing from Wales and much of England for leaving the UK, but a majority voting for Remain in Scotland and Northern Ireland, there are already calls for further referendums that could lead to one of the four parts of the UK departing.


As expected, Scottish voters were much more in favour of staying in the EU than the broader UK population, and backed remain by 62% to 38% for Leave. Less than two years after the last referendum on its membership of the UK, the Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has already called for a further vote.

She said in a statement: "Scotland has delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the EU, and I welcome that endorsement of our European status.

"And while the overall result remains to be declared, the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.

"Scotland has contributed significantly to the remain vote across the UK. That reflects the positive campaign the SNP fought, which highlighted the gains and benefits of our EU membership, and people across Scotland have responded to that positive message.

"We await the final UK-wide result, but Scotland has spoken – and spoken decisively."

The Scottish vote dramatically favoured EU membership. Photo: iStock 

Northern Ireland

This is arguably the part of the UK that will be most directly impacted by the Brexit, as it represents the only part of the country which has a physical border with an EU state, Ireland.

Historic tensions have been reignited as a part of the campaign, with many on the unionist side of the community calling to leave as most nationalists came out for remain.

Sinn Fein, the largest party on the nationalist side which wants a united Ireland, has already called for a referendum on continued membership of the UK. However, the continued majority unionist population would likely vote to stay part of the UK in the event of a referendum.

Sinn Fein's chairman, Declan Kearney, said in a statement: "This outcome tonight dramatically changes the political landscape here in the north of Ireland, and we will be intensifying our case for the calling of a border poll."

"The British government as a direct result have forfeited any mandate to represent the interests of people here in the north of Ireland in circumstances where the north is dragged out of Europe as a result of a vote to leave."

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