Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: DUP stance ensures hard border, says Gerry Adams

By Staff Reporter

Gerry Adams has said Arlene Foster's DUP is "guaranteeing the imposition of a hard border" after Brexit.

The Sinn Fein leader was responding to Mrs Foster's weekend speech at an economic conference in Killarney in which she said Brexit was not about pulling up a drawbridge and cutting off Northern Ireland from its nearest neighbour.

Striking a conciliatory tone, she said there was much uniting Northern Ireland and the Republic in phase two of the EU negotiations. She suggested an expanded role for the British-Irish Council to enhance Anglo-Irish relations.

But Mr Adams said the DUP and Irish Government should champion special status within the EU for Northern Ireland.

Speaking in the Dail yesterday, Mr Adams added: "I want to acknowledge and welcome Arlene's statement that she is opposed to a hard border and she is interested in novel solutions.

"The problem is while they say they are opposed to a hard border, Mrs Foster and the DUP are also demanding that the North leaves both the customs union and the single market. If that happens, it will guarantee the imposition of a hard border."

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned the UK that Dublin will continue to "advance and defend" the Republic's interests and "seek to mitigate the negative effects of Brexit for the country".

Referring to the last-minute deal UK Prime Minister Theresa May struck with the EU in December, Mr Varadkar told the Dail: "There can be no back-sliding."

He added: "It will be important to remain vigilant to ensure that commitments entered into in December are delivered in full."

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