"The EU rules are very clear – membership is at member state level, it’s a national question. This decision has been made – the people of the UK have voted to leave the EU. That decision is going to be respected. That’s what the government will take forward," Theresa Villiers said, speaking at Stormont House, Belfast.
After the referendum the Northern Irish republican party Sinn Fein said it would push for a referendum on the province's secession from the United Kingdom and subsequent reunification with the rest of Ireland, which is a member of the European Union.