DUP MEP for Northern Ireland, Diane Dodds, has accused the Irish President of showing "scant regard for democracy" after he described the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union as a "tantrum".
"The Irish President's description of the UK vote to leave the EU as a 'tantrum' shows scant regard for democracy," said Mrs. Dodds on Twitter on Thursday morning.
"The referendum result must be respected, even by those who disagree with the outcome, in order to maintain public trust in our democratic institutions," added Mrs. Dodds.
Mr. Higgins made the comment in Berlin on Wednesday which was the first day of a three day state visit to Germany.
As the U.K. edges closer to exiting the E.U. without a deal Mr. Higgins said he hoped that food and agriculture in the Republic of Ireland would not be negatively impacted “as our nearest neighbour continues to throw a tantrum”.
Mr. Higgins was greeted in Germany by his counterpart, Frank Walter Steinmeier, who called on the next Prime Minister of the U.K. to be guided by the reality of Brexit rather than what he described as "fantasies".
The race to become the next Prime Minister of the U.K., which is between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, will be decided on Tuesday July 20.
Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hunt have both signalled that they would be prepared to take the U.K. out of the E.U. without a deal on October 31, 2019.