Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kinahan has said we must now get the best deal for Northern Ireland in Brexit negotiations.
Mr Kinahan welcomed the passage through Parliament of the EU (Notification of Withdrawal Bill) which is due to become law today.
The South Antrim MP said:
“Now the Brexit Bill has successfully passed through both Houses of Parliament, the Government can now get on with triggering Article 50.
“While we were disappointed that the amendment we supported was voted down, we hope it will be an early priority of the UK Government to guarantee the status of EU citizens living here, while also ensuring that UK citizens resident in the EU continue to receive the rights they currently enjoy.
“As the Government embarks on formal negotiations with the European Union it is a sad indictment of the last Northern Ireland Executive that there is currently no Executive in place to feed into the UK negotiating position.
“The final Brexit deal will have significant lasting consequences for our universities, farming & agri-food, the community & voluntary sector, and the business community, amongst others, so it is crucial that Northern Ireland interests are represented, which I fear is not happening at the moment.
“We must see a successful resolution to the issue of the border, so our people and goods can still flow freely across it.
“For our part the Ulster Unionist Party will continue to lobby at Westminster, to ensure the Northern Ireland voice is being heard at every stage in negotiations.
“It is vital that we get the best deal for the Northern Ireland and the whole of the United Kingdom, and build new partnerships with our neighbours and the rest of the world.”