Martin: Brexit talks should no longer be about 'punishing' Britain

Martin: Brexit talks should no longer be about 'punishing' Britain

Brexit talks should no longer be about "punishing" Britain, Micheál Martin has warned.

The Fianna Fáil leader believes a deal could still be struck before the end of October and said politicians should be able to find the creative wording needed.

He said reaching agreement on the Good Friday Agreement was far more difficult than the current Brexit impasse.

"In my view there are clear ideas as to where this is heading. It is heading towards a Northern Ireland specific solution. Now, the difficulty will be in finalising that, but that's where it's heading.

"The Good Friday Agreement does create a template for the resolution of this. We've been very creative with our unionist colleagues and with the UK in the past on much more difficult issues around the Good Friday agreement itself.

"It seems to me to not that it should not be beyond the capacity of political leadership from the UK, here, and Northern Ireland, to protect the livelihoods of the people that we represent," said Mr Martin.

Welcoming the tone of the comments made by Ms Foster in Dublin in which she said her party do not favour a no-deal he said:

"There is a growing sense all around that we're all going to be sharing the same island for quite a long time to come and that there needs to be sensible talking, sensible dialogue, and sensible working out of the Brexit situation."

He said the "Armageddon" of a no-deal Brexit must be avoided adding: "I think unionism realises that and I think unionism knows that its people will not be happy with a no-deal.

"I think Arlene Foster's comments in saying that she and her colleagues are emphatically against a no-deal is a welcome development, there's still a significant journey to go.

"There are discussions underway that much is clear. I think the reason it hasn't been a written proposal to date is because anything that gets tabled gets leaked pretty quickly, and gets leaked pretty quickly in Brussels as well," Mr Martin said.

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