London (dpa) 21 Jan 2020 - Northern Ireland’s devolved assembly voted to reject British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s key Brexit legislation on Monday.
The largely symbolic, unopposed vote in the 90-seat assembly reflects longer-term hurdles ahead for Johnson in Northern Ireland, Scotland and possibly Wales. The British parliament in London is expected to give final approval to the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill this week, paving the way for Johnson’s Conservatives to begin the formal Brexit process on January 31.
Scotland’s devolved parliament voted earlier this month to reject the bill and reiterated its opposition to the government’s Brexit deal with Brussels.
“A majority of our people ... oppose Brexit,” Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, who leads Irish republican party Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, tweeted after Monday’s vote. “It presents the most profound challenges to our island in a generation,” O’Neill said.
Majorities in Northern Ireland and Scotland opposed Brexit in a 2016 referendum, while across the United Kingdom 52 per cent voted to leave the EU