Stormont rejects motion for Northern Ireland 'special status' in Brexit negotiations

MLAs voted against the measure by 47 votes to 46

Stormont rejects motion for Northern Ireland 'special status' in Brexit negotiations

The Stormont Assembly buildings in Belfast, Northern Ireland | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Stormont Assembly has voted against a motion calling for 'special status' for Northern Ireland in the Brexit process.

MLAs voted against the measure, which was proposed by the SDLP, by 47 votes to 46.

The vote may make it harder for the British and Irish governments to have the North considered a special case during the Brexit negotiations.

The motion called on Stormont to endorse "the proposal of the Irish Government and others that there should be legal recognition of the unique status of Northern Ireland and the circumstances on the island as part of the arrangements to leave the European Union".

Those proposing the idea had said that it would "safeguard the interests of the people of Northern Ireland, including future access to European Union funding opportunities".

It also called on the British government to "fully endorse, and to negotiate for, this outcome in discussions on leaving the European Union".

The vote came on the same day as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, visited the assembly.