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Micheal Martin launches broadside at UK over Brexit preparations

Published 19/09/2016

Micheal Martin also called for a special taskforce to be set up to help businesses and communities along the border with Northern Ireland
Micheal Martin also called for a special taskforce to be set up to help businesses and communities along the border with Northern Ireland

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is making it up as she goes along when it comes to Brexit, the main opposition leader has claimed.

Fianna Fail's Micheal Martin launched the broadside as he called for a special taskforce to be set up to help businesses and communities along the border with Northern Ireland before the UK splits from Europe.

" The failure of the Tory government to agree even when they want to start the negotiations shows again how they are making it up as they go along - even with three leading Brexit advocates in charge," he said.

Mr Martin, whose party is in opposition but pledged to support the minority government over three budgets, issued the rebuke as his party meets to prepare for the new parliamentary term.

And he warned that the British Government's approach to Brexit and triggering Article 50 should not stop Ireland's leaders from making early preparations to deal with the fallout.

"This has no impact on our government deciding exactly what we want out of the negotiations and holding proper consultations with key sectors," Mr Martin said.

"We believe that a taskforce focused on the border region is now required. We have the time to be ready to help businesses and communities cope with whatever arises. We can't keep playing catch-up."

Mr Martin criticised the Irish Government's approach to the referendum in June and claimed it had been unprepared for the support for Brexit.

"The lack of preparation for the possibility of a vote for Brexit was an immense failure by this government," he told his party faithful.

"We all have a role to play in making up for lost time and ensuring that Ireland does not suffer because of it.

"The Scottish Parliament has already published an all-party report on Brexit yet no substantive progress has been seen here.

"We will be pushing for a rapid process of consultation with groups most likely to be impacted by Brexit and the publication by the end of the year of a detailed statement of national objectives in the Brexit negotiations."

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