Martin: ‘Mean spirited campaign’ led to UK Leave vote

Martin: ‘Mean spirited campaign’ led to UK Leave vote

Fianna Fáil has said the focus now should be to minimise the damage caused by this result.

Leader Micheál Martin said the result is “regrettable”, but that Ireland should not follow Britain out of the EU.

He said the “economic, social and political case for Ireland to be a member of the European Union remains overwhelming”.

In a statement this morning the Fianna Fáil leader said it was a “mean spirited campaign” that led to the Leave result of UK’s referendum.

“Following the result of the UK referendum Ireland must be absolutely clear about our position,” read Martin’s statement.

“We will not be following the UK and we will work constructively to reform the EU from within. The economic, social and political case for Ireland to be a member of the Union remains overwhelming.

“Our focus now must be to minimise the damage caused by this result. We have a distinct and urgent national interest which should be recognised by our European partners.

“At the upcoming Brussels summit the Taoiseach should insist that Ireland be fully involved in the negotiations on the terms of Britain's exit and that provision be made for regions particularly badly hit by the economic consequences.

“For four decades a strand of English anti-European sentiment has built a deep resentment which led to this result. It was a mean spirited campaign in which fear of non-British people was promoted to a disturbing degree.

“The fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted decisively to remain in the EU reinforces how divisive it has been. The result is regrettable, but it must now be dealt with quickly and decisively.

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