Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has called on Secretary of State James Brokenshire MP to establish a Brexit advisory council made up of local party leaders and Northern Ireland’s three MEPs.
The comments come as the third round of formal negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union begin today.
Mr Nicholson said:
“Of all parts of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has the most to lose from Brexit if a workable deal is not agreed between the EU and the UK. We are after all the only part of the UK to share a land border with the European Union. However, with the lack of a functioning Executive we are also the least prepared.
“In the absence of an Executive I have therefore called on Secretary of State James Brokenshire to establish an advisory council on Brexit, with the main party leaders and the three MEPs from Northern Ireland. I have also urged Mr Brokenshire to come to Brussels to speak with European counterparts about the paper recently published by the UK Government on the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border.
“With negotiations needing to be wrapped up by October of next year, I fear that time is not on our side. We need all parties to get down to business and work together for a Brexit deal that works for Northern Ireland and the entire United Kingdom.”