DUP leader Arlene Foster: 'There won't be an Irish unity referendum in my lifetime'
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DUP leader Arlene Foster: 'There won't be an Irish unity referendum in my lifetime'

THE LEADER of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, says she doesn't think there will be a united Ireland in her lifetime, nor will there be a referendum on the subject.

Ms Foster, who is First Minister of Northern Ireland, made the comments on BBC NI's 'The View', where she said a border poll was far from a priority.

When the reporter asked if she believed she would see a united Ireland in her lifetime, she replied "No I don't".

When asked if she believed there would be a referendum on the subject, she repeated the sentiment, saying "No I don't."

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Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill (L) and DUP leader Arlene Foster.

When asked why, Ms Foster said "Because there has to be evidence there."

"As you know, the test for a border poll is that people would vote for it in a majority. And there's no evidence of that.

"Yes, people can have different opinion polls, but there's no tangible evidence if you look right across Northern Ireland."

Ms Foster's comments are at odds with other high-profile politicians who have called for a referendum in the near future.

Sinn Féin have called for a border poll within the next five years, and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement, said he believes a referendum will be held within the next decade.

He had previously indicated that a referendum was overdue, admitting that all those involved in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement had expected a referendum to be held within ten years after it was signed into law.

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