LONDON Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday it was "not right" to have a referendum on Northern Ireland splitting from the United Kingdom, a day after the province's largest Irish nationalist party called such a vote as "as soon as possible".
Sinn Fein has been regularly calling for a vote for Northern Ireland to leave the UK and unite with the Republic of Ireland since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June while most voters in Northern Ireland voted to remain.
"It is not right to have a border poll at this stage," May told parliament, adding that political parties there should be focused on agreeing a power-sharing arrangement to save their devolved government.
"We want to see that devolved administration being formed and that is what all the parties should be looking for at the moment."
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Elizabeth Piper)