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Sinn Fein's Murphy claims DUP secretly fears Brexit disaster


Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy with party colleagues at Stormont yesterday

Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy with party colleagues at Stormont yesterday

Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy with party colleagues at Stormont yesterday

The DUP and Sinn Fein have locked horns again over Brexit.

Former Sinn Fein minister Conor Murphy claimed the DUP privately acknowledges that Brexit will be an economic disaster for the island of Ireland.

But the DUP hit back that Sinn Fein had "entered fantasy land" and is using "classic scaremongering tactics".

Mr Murphy suggested the DUP's public pro-Brexit stance was very different to its behind-closed-doors view.

"The reality is the DUP have been acting against the wishes of the majority of people here in relation to their approach to Brexit," said the former Sinn Fein MLA.

"They have now given the British government a blank cheque in terms of signing up to support any Brexit legislation that is brought forward.

"They can hardly then complain when those who will be disastrously impacted on by Brexit then call that out for what it is, who present issues as they are likely to arise.

"Quite clearly the Irish government and the Taoiseach have to defend the interests of the Irish people and we look to them to defend the interests of Irish citizens who live in this part of Ireland as well. So the DUP can hardly criticise others when they are acting against the interests and wishes of the vast majority of people on this island."

Asked for his reaction to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's remark that he hoped Brexit could still be averted, Mr Murphy added: "I would hope that Brexit wouldn't happen either, but that's a matter for the British government and the British state and the people who live there.

"The reality is we recognise, as does everyone, including the DUP privately, that Brexit is going to be an economic disaster for the island of Ireland."

In response, a DUP spokesperson said: "Mr Murphy and Sinn Fein have now entered fantasy land by inventing DUP positions.

"Mr Murphy should be focused on giving Northern Ireland a voice in Brexit negotiations, given the current impasse at Stormont with Sinn Fein's long list of demands.

"By getting a functioning Executive up and running, Northern Ireland can make the case for a good deal as the UK exits the European Union.

"Sinn Fein are using classic scaremongering tactics with little basis of fact or substance. The DUP are the best placed with their seats in Westminster to speak out on the needs of Northern Ireland. The reality is the UK is leaving the EU.

"A common sense approach is needed rather than the petty politicking seen here by Conor Murphy who still fails to accept the EU referendum vote."

A Sinn Fein delegation also met Secretary of State James Brokenshire yesterday. Mr Murphy claimed Mr Brokenshire did not table any new ideas over how to break Northern Ireland's political deadlock during their 30-minute meeting at Stormont House.

Belfast Telegraph