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DUP need to wake up to economic vandalism Brexit will bring, says Sinn Fein


Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill

Sinn Fein has said official figures suggesting the UK will be worse off under any form of Brexit shows the "absurdity" of the DUP's position on leaving the EU.

The party's deputy leader Michelle O'Neill said the Government's own statistics proved there was "no good Brexit".

"Under every possible scenario, the British economy is going to sustain immense damage," she said. "That will be amplified and multiplied in the north of Ireland due to our particular circumstances, our reliance on north-south trade and the key role that Europe has played here."

Branding Brexit "economic vandalism", Ms O'Neill continued: "It beggars belief that the DUP is still prepared to crash our economy in pursuit of a reckless unionist agenda.

"The DUP should look at the evidence. They should listen to the business community. They should listen to the farming community. And they should listen to the cross-community majority here who voted against Brexit.

"Rather than continuing to deny and distract, the DUP should accept that - while there is no good Brexit - the withdrawal agreement is the least worst option available."

Official figures predicted that the UK economy could be up to 3.9% smaller after 15 years under Theresa May's Brexit plan but 9.3% worse off with a no-deal Brexit. DUP MP Ian Paisley said the public were being presented with "a false choice" with either Mrs May's deal or no-deal.

He said there was no enthusiasm for the Prime Minister's deal which appeared destined to be rejected by Parliament.

"Now is the time to look beyond the current deal, to bin the backstop and work on finding a better way forward," he said.

Mr Paisley called for that process to begin immediately rather than waiting until MPs voted on December 11.

"Everyone wants to see a successful outcome to this process but continuing to press ahead with the current deal will not achieve that. It's time to grasp the nettle and seek a better way forward," he insisted.

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said: "The writing is on the wall and it is written in bold - Brexit is an unmitigated economic disaster."

His party supports a second referendum but whatever happened when MPs voted next month "the backstop must be banked to ensure the protection of our economy and the avoidance of a hard border", he added.

Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry said the official figures showed "there is no such thing as a good or sensible Brexit".

He added: "Brexit will see the UK slipping behind in terms in its rate of growth, and people will therefore miss out on economic opportunities and prosperity."

Belfast Telegraph