Threat to peace process from Brexit should not be underplayed - McGuinness

Richard Bruton says Ireland is not looking for special treatment

Threat to peace process from Brexit should not be underplayed - McGuinness

Martin McGuinness on the Plinth at Leinster House in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The deputy first minister of Northern Ireland says the threat to the peace process of a British exit from the European Union should not be underplayed.

Martin McGuinness was speaking in Armagh after a meeting between the Irish Government and Stormont Executive at the North-South Ministerial Council.

Mr McGuinness says he believes there is "tremendous sympathy" across Europe to Ireland's unique position post-Brexit.

But he has warned there are serious challenges to the peace process.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny says the British government will have to focus on free movement of EU citizens if they want access to the single market.

The Government and Stormont Executive have agreed to work more closely together on common positions relating to Brexit.

Mr Kenny says the British government will need to be clear about what it wants and what it will give in return.

While earlier Education Minister Richard Bruton said the island of Ireland will need to be specifically addressed by the EU.

"We're not looking for special treatment within the EU, but to recognise that there are particular features here that have to be accommodated," he told reporters.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster and the Taoiseach agreed during talks in Dublin on Tuesday that additional meetings of the council may be necessary.

While Ms Foster is still refusing to attend Mr Kenny's all-island Brexit forum, she compromised by saying that if they needed to have more regular meetings, they would.