Northern Ireland

Arlene Foster slams 'remoaners' all-island Brexit forum

Arlene Foster Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Arlene Foster said she would not be attending the forum, describing it as a 'grandstanding exercise'

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster has criticised the Irish government's all-island forum on Brexit.

Mrs Foster described it as a "grandstanding exercise" and said she had better things to do than be a "lone voice among remoaners".

She has already declined an invite to attend next week's "civic dialogue" event in Dublin.

The forum was established in the wake of the EU referendum result.

"It's a complete grandstanding exercise," said Mrs Foster.

"It will be full of people who quite frankly haven't accepted the referendum result going down to talk about how dreadful it is and how awful it is.

"Mark my words that's exactly what will happen at the grandstanding forum that will come about.

"I'm not going to be a part of that. I am in this to do real business and to have outcomes, not to sit around talking about how dreadful it is."

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said the event will facilitate an all-Ireland conversation among the business community, wider civic society and politicians.

Asked if it would be valuable to put the argument in favour of Brexit to forum delegates, Mrs Foster replied: "To be a lone voice amongst a whole lot of remoaners?

"No thank you - I have better things to do with my time."

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