DUP on charm offensive to ease Brexit tensions with Dublin

DUP leader Arlene Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster

The DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she does not want Brexit to "pull up the drawbridge" between the North and the Republic.

"The Democratic Unionist Party supported the United Kingdom leaving the European Union but in so doing Brexit is not about pulling up the drawbridge, building a wall and cutting ourselves off from our nearest neighbours", she added.

Her words struck a more conciliatory tone after the ongoing Brexit negotiations strained relations between her party and the Irish government.

"The atmosphere going forward needs to improve and, in particular, negotiators need to be careful not to rush for the microphones at the first opportunity".

Mark Drakeford is joining a discussion panel at an economic conference in Killarney on Saturday, that includes DUP leader Arlene Foster and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

"We will continue to have our own identities and for our part we will no longer be members of the European Union, but our futures will still be closely connected".

She acknowledged that the "bulk of views expressed about how Brexit will shape the future of politics on this island has been underpinned by a sense of concern" and that she understood those concerns even if she did not share them.

She also added that she thinks of the Republic and Northern Ireland like a semi-detached house, saying they look the same on the outside, but that things are done differently inside.

He said such schemes offer ways "to find real solutions to shared challenges which transcend borders".

"But we must all recognise that change is coming as a result of the referendum". There is no good Brexit.