Public aghast at Brexit pantomime, says Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein’s deputy leader Michelle O’Neill has said the public are “aghast” at the “Brexit pantomime” at Westminster.

Ms O’Neill said she had warned Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley in a “frank” telephone conversation that she must listen to the fears of the public.

It comes after a dramatic 24 hours at Westminster during which Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by MPs.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaking in the House of Commons (HouseofCommons/PA)

The Prime Minister then narrowly survived a confidence motion put forward by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union in just over two months on March 29.

Ms O’Neill said the business community, farmers, and the community and voluntary sector were growing more concerned every day over Brexit.

“I had a frank discussion with the British Secretary of State and I told her that her government is clearly still not listening to fears of the public who are aghast at the pantomime currently playing out in the Westminster parliament,” she said.

‘Public aghast at Brexit pantomime’ @moneillsf

— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) January 17, 2019

“With each passing day, our business community, our farmers, our community and voluntary sector are growing more concerned at where this shambles will ultimately end up. And it is they who will pay the price of a no-deal crash Brexit.

“Unfortunately that is where we are likely to end up if Karen Bradley’s government pursues a solution by attempting to placate and appease the DUP and the hard Brexiteers.”

Ms O’Neill added a plea that the backstop remained in any new withdrawal deal agreed between the UK and EU.

“It is crucial, now more than ever, that the Dublin Government and the EU27 stand firm on the position that there can be no agreement without a backstop that prevents a hard border in Ireland and protects our peace and political process,” she said.