Gerry Adams accuses DUP of 'disrespecting will of the people' on Brexit

The Sinn Féin leader has welcomed recent comments by Leo Varadkar on the border issue

Gerry Adams accuses DUP of 'disrespecting will of the people' on Brexit

Gerry Adams. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has accused the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of "disrespecting the will of the people" in Northern Ireland over Brexit.

Deputy Adams has been commenting in the wake of a war of words between DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Mr Varadkar has insisted that Ireland would not help UK Brexiteers design an economic border in Ireland.

He suggested: "As far as this Government is concerned there shouldn't be an economic border, we don't want one."

In response, the DUP leader rejected Varadkar's 'unhelpful' comments.

In a statement today, Gerry Adams welcomed the Taoiseach's stance, and again emphasised that more than 55% of Northern Irish voters backed remaining in the EU.

Deputy Adams observed: “Brexit is the greatest threat to the two economies of this island since partition. The DUP is disrespecting the will of the people in the North who clearly voted in support of remaining within the EU in last year’s referendum.

“The Irish government has a responsibility to defend the remain vote and to challenge any proposals that would see an economic border on the island of Ireland."

He reiterated that his party believes the best way to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the economies north & south of the border is "for the North to be designated a special status within the EU".

He added: “It is imperative that the free movement of people and goods without trade tariffs, physical checks or passport controls, is maintained. External international EU land borders and border controls within the island by land, air or sea must be strongly opposed." 

Leo Varadkar will meet Deputy Adams and other political leaders in Belfast tomorrow. The Taoiseach is also scheduled to deliver a speech at Queen's University tomorrow on the future of North-South relations, before attending a Pride breakfast event on Saturday.