Sammy Wilson has said Brexit secretary David Davis was “bang on” when he described the Republic’s government as being under the “strong influence” of Sinn Fein.
The DUP MP for East Antrim declared that the present Dublin administration – led by Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney – are acting like “puppets” of their republican rivals when it comes to the issue of Brexit, because they fear the electoral damage which Sinn Fein could do at election time.
Mr Wilson was speaking after both Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney dismissed comments made by David Davis at a London conference.
The Irish Times and other media had quoted Mr Davis as telling his audience: “We had a change of government, south of the border, and with quite a strong influence from Sinn Fein, and that had an impact in terms of the approach.”
In response, Mr Varadkar was quoted saying the comments were “strange” and “inaccurate,” whilst Mr Coveney dubbed them simply “nonsense”.
Mr Wilson, DUP spokesman on the subject of Brexit, has repeatedly accused the Dublin government of taking a hardline stance on Brexit and the border.
Today he told the News Letter: “The truth of the matter is the two of them are now so embarrassed that they’re having their strings pulled by the fear Sinn Fein may well take votes off them when eventually they call a general election...
“And whether they like to admit it [or not], they’re only a pair of puppets for Sinn Fein at the minute, driven by fear.
“They’re also in doing so of course selling the Irish business community short, because they’re concentrating on this border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic whilst they have ignored totally the disruption which could be caused to the Irish economy if they do not get an arrangement which gives them free access to the GB market.
“All they seem to be concerned about is access to the Northern Ireland market, and that’s all to do with pandering to Sinn Fein.”