Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Brexit, Stephen Donnelly TD has called on Sinn Fein and DUP negotiators to redouble their efforts to find a solution to the current political impasse and to allow the North prepare for Brexit.

Deputy Donnelly made the call as Secretary of State; James Brokenshire today announced that a Budget Bill would be brought forward in Westminster to give effect to standard budget requirements.

“However, given that the budget will be of a technical nature, it is unlikely to include a comprehensive response to address the impact of Brexit which is now less than 16 months away from being a reality.

“Northern Ireland is the most exposed part of the EU to the impact and consequences of Brexit.

“The potential for widespread job losses and wage reductions, as well as cuts to public services and investment in infrastructure cannot be overstated.

“The people of the North need their voices heard, and their interests strongly represented during the Brexit negotiations.

“It is exceptionally disappointing that the talks between the DUP and Sinn Féin have been unable to form an Executive eight months after the last Assembly Election, and 11 months after it collapsed.

“Decisions relating to preparedness for Brexit are now being made by people not elected by the people of North.

“As a result, the soon to be introduced Budget will not be able to prepare the North’s economy for the ramifications of Brexit. It will not address the mammoth challenges Brexit poses for the six counties. This is not acceptable for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland.

“The political vacuum has now led to the worst of all worlds, with no direction, no mandate to introduce Brexit supports, and increasingly; no time to prepare.

“If those involved in negotiations truly wish to see Northern Ireland prepare in the right way for Brexit, they must step up and do the job they were mandated and indeed paid to do, and restore power sharing, and establish a functioning, government Northern Ireland Executive,” concluded Donnelly.