Sinn Fein has renewed calls for a cross-border referendum on a united Ireland in the wake of the Scottish vote on independence.

Deputy Daithi McKay told the Northern Ireland assembly that citizens in the North should now be offered a unification referendum.

He repeated demands made by senior party figures, including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, in the wake of the Scottish no vote.

McKay said: “The public in Scotland and the public here do not want their politicians to continue to bend the knee to the Tories and the British treasury.

“It was a healthy exercise in Scotland. There was some scaremongering, but, across the world, Scotland has been held up as a shining example of how to hold a mature debate about future governance.

“We should have a poll in Ireland about whether Ireland is better together and, like I said, no scaremongering.”

Unionist deputies dismissed McKay’s claims, however.

Sammy Wilson from the DUP was dismissive.

He said: “I am surprised that Sinn Fein wishes to have a Border poll, given that 25 percent of its own supporters do not support its idea of a united Ireland. A vast majority of people here are in favor of the union.

“Such calls are a tactic to divert attention from Sinn Fein’s economic incompetence in Northern Ireland.”

Wilson praised those who campaigned for a no vote in Scotland and was critical of the Scottish National Party.

He added: “I congratulate the people of Scotland for recognizing the benefits of the union, despite the tartan terror tactics of the SNP during a very contentious referendum campaign.

“It was a campaign that saw academics threatened, civil servants abusing their power, public meetings broken up, businessmen told that there would be consequences if they did not keep their mouths shut and people afraid even to show their loyalties and where they stood for fear of having their property attacked.

“It was typical of the nasty face of nationalism. We have seen it in Northern Ireland, and the people of Scotland witnessed it during the referendum campaign.”

The status quo in Northern Ireland cannot remain and change cannot be endlessly postponed.Getty Images/iStockphoto