Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has told Brexiteers to stop “crying their salty tears” and accept the consequences of their actions.
McDonald denied there needed to be changes made to the Brexit agreement as a result of problems in Northern Ireland, claiming the issues were significantly documented before the UK left the EU.
She told Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it needs to be remembered this protocol is only in place a short number of weeks, it needs also to be recalled that Brexit was not our idea.”
She continued: “Brexit was something the DUP and the British system, the Brexiteer part of it, championed.
“We warned consistently it would have very negative impacts for the entire island of Ireland.”
She said the EU’s decision to briefly use Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol was a “deeply regrettable miscalculation”, adding: “That kind of action cannot happen again in the future.”
McDonald said it was time for the Brexiteers to stop pointing “the finger at others”.
She explained: “There are some consequences of Brexit that will be disruptive and will be negative and that can’t be mitigated by the protocol.
“Those negative consequences belong to Brexit … they are not the fault of the protocol.
“The first thing that needs to happen now is we need cool heads, we need calm, mature leadership, those teething problems that do exist need to be identified and need to be ironed out.
“Those who championed Brexit and are crying salty tears now because of the consequences of Brexit need to accept that those are consequences of their decisions, their actions, and to not point the finger at others.”