I don’t think anyone denies the seriousness and the difficulty that lies ahead for the UK Government and the European Union as Brexit negotiations commence.
In particular, it is becoming clearer to officials in Whitehall and Brussels that the question of the border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland will be among the trickiest problems to resolve in the negotiations.
Martina Anderson clearly thinks she has an easy solution, which seems to involve quoting ‘rebel songs’ and shouting incoherently at the prime minister.
That bizarre and frankly embarrassing late night monologue in Strasbourg has exposed Sinn Fein’s hypocrisy when it comes to respect.
She certainly didn’t seem to have much respect for the chair, the few MEPs who were present or indeed the prime minister. The mask has slipped yet again.
I have heard it said that Martina made her rant to an empty chamber in Strasbourg because she feels passionate about the issue. I have to say I take issue with that.
There was no actual debate taking place. She was speaking under the “one minute speech” rule whereby members can made a short speech on any topic. There were no relevant commissioners or government ministers present.
Unlike Martina, I believe in actually solving problems and addressing difficulties by being constructive.
I have had many meetings with senior government representatives and ministers, as well as leaders on the Brussels side such as European Parliament chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, to highlight issues facing Northern Ireland.
Every one of these meetings has been polite and constructive.
I am now more confident that both sides have an understanding of the issues and there is political will to find a solution, and I can now begin to see there may be a way forward.
This isn’t the first time Martina and Sinn Fein have embarrassed themselves and the people they represent in the European Parliament. I am sure it will not be the last.
The problems we face today are much too serious for such hysterical antics.
They say they want a United Ireland, but I think that as long as Sinn Fein uses this sort of language, the Union will remain safe for generations to come!