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'No surprise' over leaked Brexit report - O'Neill

Michelle O'Neill said the reports were Credit: UTV

Sinn Féin has accused the Government of being “reckless” on Brexit.

It comes after the Sunday Times published a leaked report, setting out the UK’s preparations for a hard border in Ireland the event of no deal.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O’Neill said the reports came as “no surprise”.

She added: “The consequences of a no-deal Brexit will result in a hard border which threatens our hard won peace and undermines the political and economic progress of the past 21 years enjoyed across the whole island.

“It will have devastating effects for the island of Ireland and our people, businesses, farmers, workers and communities.

“The British Government is dealing with the North of Ireland and the peace process as though it’s a commodity and it is a reckless, dangerous approach to take.”

However, the DUP leader Arlene Foster said the report is out of date and they continue to want a Brexit deal.

"This is a report that comes out from the last administration, not the current Government, I think that's important to remember," she told UTV.

"We should also look behind the reason as to why this has been leaked in this fashion, as we understand it has been leaked by a former minister.

"If that is the case then what they're doing is actually undermining the Prime Minister as he gets ready to go into Europe and to look for a proper deal."

The leaked documents suggest that the UK will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the EU without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland.

The Government has dismissed the report as "Project Fear" and out of date.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not understand the situation in Northern Ireland.

"Boris Johnson and his plans for a no-deal Brexit on 31 October are a threat to stability and prosperity on this island," he said.

"We know that a no-deal Brexit will result in food and medicine shortages.

“Now, by the British Government's own admission, we know that trade across the border will grind to a halt.

"This British Government, far from sending a clear message to Brussels, is sending a clear message to people and businesses in Northern Ireland - they are willing to sacrifice our economic, political and social wellbeing to please rabid nativists in their own ranks.”

Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium said continued access to both the GB and EU markets are needed “not just to thrive but to survive Brexit”.

He added: “If the Prime Minister believes there is a way to overcome these challenges then he must share how."