“This manifesto spells out the basis of a hard Brexit. While the people of the UK may have narrowly voted for Brexit, they made no distinction between a hard Brexit and a soft Brexit. The Conservatives are now reinforcing their foolish commitment to leave the EU Single Market and the Customs Union.
“Instead, they are placing all their faith in securing free trade deals, without understanding or recognising whatever relationships they can salvage will be inferior to what the UK currently has with the EU and its potential to secure wider trade relationships with other parts of the world. The blinkered determination to crack down on immigration also stands totally at odds with the economic vision of being outward looking and open to the rest of the world.
“This particular approach is especially damaging to Northern Ireland. This region can only work on the basis of sharing and interdependence, but Brexit entails new divisions and barriers.
“This Conservative manifesto reinforces the need for the three-point Alliance approach of opposing a hard Brexit for the UK, seeking a special deal for Northern Ireland and supporting a second referendum on the outcome of the negotiations versus staying in the EU.”