Arlene Foster accuses Irish Govt of not being in 'solution-finding mode' on Brexit

Arlene Foster accuses Irish Govt of not being in 'solution-finding mode' on Brexit

Update: DUP leader Arlene Foster has elaborated on her claim that there had never been a hard border in Ireland.

Speaking on U105.8FM radio, she said: "For those of us who lived on the border and who were attacked by the IRA, we know that the IRA escaped across that border, so it was not a hard border, nobody wants to go back to that.

"It takes the will to look for solutions and the regrettable thing is the Republic of Ireland has not been in the solution-finding mode.

"I hope that they are now, I hope that our Prime Minister uses that vote last night to go to Europe and to look for a better deal."

Earlier: Only border ever in NI was because of Republicans, claims DUP's Sammy Wilson

The only hard border that Northern Ireland ever had came about as a result of Republicans, claims the DUP’s Sammy Wilson.

“Ironically the only hard border we ever had in Northern Ireland was a hard border which resulted from the actions of Republicans. People who wanted a united Ireland,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

“They were the ones who caused army checkpoints to be put in place, army patrols, watchtowers etc.,” he added in an interview recorded last night following the historic defeat of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit vote.

Sammy Wilson
Sammy Wilson

Mr Wilson was explaining comments that the DUP’s leader Arlene Foster had made in Westminster on Tuesday when she said there had never been a hard border in Northern Ireland, but rather security needed to prevent terrorism.

“I think it's significant and I think the point she (Arlene Foster) was trying to make was that even with all of that infrastructure in place, there was still not a hard border ie. you could not stop the illegal movement of goods across the border and I think that's what Arlene Foster was referring to.

“That should be a lesson to both the Irish Government and the EU and anybody who falls for this con trick of a hard border being imposed - 50,000 troops couldn't impose a hard border, so how on earth do the EU believe that putting a lot of barbed poles across roads and putting a few officials to search vehicles that there's going to be a hard border.”

He said that Mrs May has very little room for manoeuvre on the UK’s departure date from the EU.

Given the size of the revolt in her party, she has very little room for manoeuvre on the particular date because she would face a massive revolt. There would be a vote against changing the leaving date.

“If it's chaotic at the moment can you imagine how chaotic it would be when you get the Labour party, the Scottish nationalists, the Liberal Democrats, ourselves and the Conservatives all trying to come with a common policy?

“It would make this thing look very orderly.

“A no deal Brexit will happen once we reach the 29th March, legally we will have left and if there's no deal, then we have no deal. I don't fear it, I don't think that the hyperbole that's been around a no deal Brexit bears any relationship to reality. If we move towards that I'm quite relaxed.”

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