Fianna Fáil European Affairs Spokesperson Sean Haughey TD has reacted to news that the All Ireland Brexit Forum, heavily promoted by Government sources over recent days, has had to be scrapped because the Government had failed to consult with Northern unionist leaders.

Deputy Haughey commented, “Fianna Fáil promoted the idea of an all-Ireland forum on the implications of Brexit because we are acutely aware of the threats presented by the recent vote to this economy, the economy of Northern Ireland and the relationship between us both.

“We were heartened when the Government appeared to get behind the idea and sources confirmed that is was set to go ahead, but today’s developments point to a complete shambles, with the Government pulling the idea after it emerged that the First Minister in the North had never been spoken to about the idea.

“I don’t for one moment believe that any one party should have a veto over what is a very important proposal, but the failure to speak to the First Minister in Northern Ireland completely undermines the project before it even begins.

“Brexit is one of the most important strategic threats we have faced for some time. There is no space for this sort of shambolic mistake as we prepare our response to the threat. Fianna Fáil is deeply disappointed that the plan has been withdrawn and the circumstances of the withdrawal.”