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UK Government playing a game of chicken with Brexit, says Farry

The UK Government is playing a game of chicken with Brexit, Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry has said.

Dr Farry was speaking after attending the fifth All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, taking place today in Dublin. He told attendees the backstop was vital to protect the interests of Northern Ireland from the impact of Brexit.

"This forum offers an excellent opportunity to discuss the common challenges facing both parts of the island from Brexit and the practical steps needed to be taken to mitigate its effects," he said.

"Any negotiated Brexit requires this Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop. The backstop is not being imposed on Northern Ireland and we don't need protection from it. Rather it is a pragmatic intervention to address the particular circumstances of this region and is entirely consistent with the principle of consent. I welcome the renewed commitment from the Taoiseach this morning to the integrity of the backstop.

"The UK Government is playing a game of chicken with Brexit. Until a no deal outcome is taken off the agenda then sadly both parts of Ireland have no choice but to plan and indeed to intensity that planning.

"More needs to be done around the impact on the service economy and data sharing. Alliance has also called for consideration to be given to the disproportionate impact on the agri-food sector and the need for transitionary support from the EU to be explored, not just for the Republic of Ireland but Northern Ireland too."