Long says PM’s Brexit announcement makes Executive inaction more significant

Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long has said the Prime Minister’s announcement the UK will begin the Brexit negotiation process by the end of March makes the inaction from the Executive an even more significant issue.

It comes after Theresa May stated she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March 2017, meaning the country would leave the EU within two years. Mrs Long said it had thrown into sharp contrast the actions of the Executive on the matter.

“The Executive has been characterised by a lack of action, secrecy, ignorance and splits since the EU referendum. Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister has made that an even more significant issue,” she said.

“The complexities facing Northern Ireland are momentous, yet the Executive has not been clear about what it wants going forward. The DUP and Sinn Fein are also refusing to positively engage with other parties around the issue, when a combined effort could help get the best deal in the event of any withdrawal from the EU.

“Northern Ireland’s interests need to be fully represented in any Brexit negotiations. When compared with the coherent responses to date from other devolved regions, it is clear we are missing out. The Prime Minister’s announcement means that needs to change immediately.”

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