The DUP were right to sit out the ‘All-Ireland Brexit Forum’ in Dublin because it was little more than “a narking session for a bunch of bad losers”, according to East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson.
Mr Wilson said: “The decision by the DUP to take no part in the Irish Government sponsored moan in on the UK’s decision to leave the EU has proved to be the right one.
“We predicted it would be a narking session for a bunch of bad losers and so it proved. Each party in their own way made it clear that their aim is to find a way of ignoring the wishes of the people of the UK.
“Whilst we realise there are issues that need to be discussed with the Irish government, primarily the negotiations are between the UK government and EU countries. We will seek, through the channels already available, to persuade the Irish government that it is in their interests to work positively with the UK and the NI Executive to make a clean break with the EU - while at the same time addressing the unique issues which affect both NI and the Republic of Ireland as a result of the decision to break free of the of the democracy and economy destroying shackles of the EU.
“The Republic of Ireland has a vested interest in ensuring that trade and population movements are addressed in a way which ensures as little disruption as possible, so hopefully the Irish government will not be amongst “vicious leaders” who Enda Kenny referred to today.
“He certainly should not be taking his lead from the embittered losers in the referendum campaign who have shown over the last few minths that they would rather talk the economy of NI down to the detriment of workers and businesses rather than admit they were wrong.”
In a speech before the talks got underway in Dublin, Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny suggested Theresa May could trigger Brexit within weeks as she faces “quite vicious” leaders around the European table.
The Taoiseach also cautioned Europe against “losing the plot” over the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
In unscripted remarks before a conference in Dublin on the impact of Brexit on Ireland, Mr Kenny said the UK Prime Minister had indicated she will trigger Article 50 - the mechanism for leaving - before the end of March.
“That doesn’t mean it mightn’t be triggered in December... or January, or February,” he added.
Mr Kenny suggested some European leaders would become very hostile to Britain.
“The other side of this argument may well get quite vicious after a while, because there are those around the European table who take a very poor view of the fact that Britain decided to leave,” he said.
“That argument, I think, will be fought very toughly, in a really difficult negotiating sense.”
The issue of access to the single market being wedded to freedom of movement would be critical, he suggested.
Europe also has to decide for itself where it wants to be in the years ahead, he added.
“If it becomes obsessed with what the UK might or might not get, then Europe itself loses the plot,” he told the the All-Island Civic Dialogue, a specially convened forum of politicians, business leaders, community representatives and others from both sides of the border.”
Both the DUP and UUP declined to take part in the talks.