The cost of Brexit will push Britain to the margins of international affairs, this according to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Speaking on Sunday at a Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown in County Kildare, Martin, said since the EU referendum in June the British government’s actions have been “shambolic.”

“The (British) cabinet ministers responsible for Brexit have been cavalier and grossly unprofessional,” Martin said.

“They have been making it up as they go along, and after four months have yet to say what they are looking for other than to keep all the good bits, dump everything they don’t like, make their own rules and pay for nothing.

“The approach to the fact that Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain has been at best dismissive.

“For example, there is no way of reconciling Theresa May’s promise to prioritize Northern Ireland with her failure to put the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the Brexit committee.”

Martin added: “The cost of Brexit will show itself over time and will push Britain to the margins of international affairs.”

He said whatever the economic impact is on Britain “for Ireland there is now no doubt that we face a deep and rising threat.”

 And he continued: “Brexit is already hurting. The fall of sterling to its lowest ever trade-weighted level in undermining Irish exporters and already costing jobs. Communities on the border are hurting and are looking ahead to an uncertain future – which is the very thing which undermines investment and employment.

“Ireland has to push for actions which can soften the potential short and medium-term destruction which Brexit may involve. We can’t wait for another two and a half years before businesses and communities receive support to either replace lost markets or to be competitive in spite of the massive fall in sterling.

“What we also need is to understand that this is a decision which will affect us permanently. It challenges our core economic strategies and demands medium and long-term policies.”

Meanwhile, the leaders of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales say they have been left “no clearer” about how the British government intends to pull the UK out of the EU.

This comes after talks involving British Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the meeting as “deeply frustrating,” while Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, said: “As this process moves along, we need to be at the heart of it.”


This article first appeared in the Irish Echo. For more stories, visit their website