There should be a second referendum if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, an Ireland rugby star has said.
Darren Cave, 31, from Holywood in Co Down, has made hundreds of appearances for Ulster and earned international caps.
He told The Sports Chronicle website that Brexit had been consuming his thoughts recently and conjured a vision of Ireland’s most successful captain, Rory Best, from Northern Ireland, having to drive through a hard border to play in Dublin.
“I believe in democracy so people shouldn’t be allowed vote all over again just because they lost.
“However, if there is no deal or the deal ends up being nothing like the terms the people who voted to leave the EU were told it would be, then we have ourselves a red herring.
“That situation, I feel, leaves us with only one option: a second referendum.”
Cave said political wrangling over the exit is a threat to the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement which largely ended violence in Northern Ireland.
He claimed many of the promises made during the Brexit campaign were untrue.
“I just hope the unique balance that makes Irish rugby so successful is not disrupted by Brexit. I know my generation couldn’t stomach that.”
He criticised Northern Ireland’s warring politicians, and said that with powersharing at Stormont suspended for more than two years, problems like homelessness and healthcare had been ignored.
He told the website: “The political landscape in Northern Ireland is a very sad state of affairs and I don’t know how it is going to change, as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) versus Sinn Fein saga rumbles ever on with the two communities entrenched on either side.
“I would love in my lifetime to see parties not based around unionist or republican ideals taking control of our future.”
- Press Association