Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed assurances from EU Council President Donald Tusk that Brexit negotiations will not proceed until Britain agrees to a plan on the Irish border.
The Ireland South MEP said Theresa May’s government must finally recognise that Ireland is a key part of the negotiations and not a passing concern.
” The attitude of the Tories to this entire process has been one of complete denial,” she said.
“They have constantly told people that the border will not be an issue or that they will get the best parts of a trade deal, burying their heads in the sand while Europe has said otherwise.
“They have rejected every proposal and deal put forward by Europe and yet have not produced one coherent, cogent proposal of their own.
“This is not the EU ‘playing hardball’ as some have suggested but 27 Member States utterly exasperated at Britain’s inability to grasp the seriousness of the situation.
“If a deal is not in place by this time next year then they leave with no deal. Time is running out fast and yet the Tories seem completely oblivious to this.
“They must now accept that they cannot tear up the Good Friday Agreement and that a border in Ireland will not be accepted.
“If they can accept this fundamental reality then it becomes clear that the only realistic solution is special status for the north.
“The DUP and the Tories may not want to acknowledge this but wasting time with pie-in-the-sky nonsense about fanciful technology or vague, meaningless comments about frictionless borders is a luxury they no longer have.
“For the sake of everyone in Ireland, Britain and Europe the DUP and Tories must quit the posturing, drop the empty machismo and accept the reality of the situation they have gotten themselves and us into.”