Mary Lou McDonald: 'Boris Johnson has profoundly stupid Brexit fantasy'
British prime minister Boris Johnson has been accused of having a Brexit "fantasy" that's "profoundly stupid and immeasurably dangerous".
The claim came from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald who warned that the DUP and the Stormont Assembly should not have a veto on a potential Northern-Ireland only backstop to avoid a hard border.
She also admitted to disappointment at her party's disastrous Local and European elections in May.
Ms McDonald was speaking at her party's away-day meeting at the Carrickdale Hotel, Co Louth, close to the border with the North.
She said that Brexit is the greatest threat and challenge faced by Ireland in a generation.
Ms McDonald argued that Mr Johnson is pursuing a "fantasy" where "the rights and interests of the Irish people can be readily cast aside.
"So It's time to call Mr Johnson’s fantasy for what it is – profoundly stupid and immeasurably dangerous.
"Mr Johnson’s stupid, dangerous fantasy cannot become Ireland’s nightmare," she said.
She said that as the October 31 Brexit deadline approaches and "pressure mounts" neither Taoiseach Leo Varakdkar nor EU negotiator Michel Barnier "can blink in the face of Tory intransigence because so much is at stake."
She argued that : "despite Mr Johnson's claims to the contrary, the path he is following would lead us to the re-imposition of a hard border."
There has been speculation that Mr Johnson's government would ultimately agree to a Northern Ireland-only backstop to get a Brexit deal over the line.
Ms McDonald was asked if the DUP or the Northern Ireland Assembly should have a final say on what is agreed.
She said the DUP do not speak on behalf of the majority in the North who voted to Remain in the EU.
She accused the DUP of "recklessly" pursuing a Brexit that will damage peoples' livelihoods.
Ms McDonald said there "should be no veto in the protection of Irish interests."
She pointed out that Brexit negotiations are between the British government and the EU and added: "The DUP, the Assembly, nobody can have a veto in delivering what are very, very necessary and bottom line protections."
Sinn Féin lost half of its councillors and two of its MEPs in the elections in May.
Ms McDonald said it was "disappointing" but the party has taken stock and "re-grouped".