Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA said:
“If the Taoiseach thinks he is going to use the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to make a name for himself he should think again. The language coming from both the Taoiseach and his Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, is totally irresponsible.
“It is in the best interests of both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to work together to find a pragmatic, workable solution to the issue of the border between the two nations, post-Brexit. However, this latest contribution is totally unhelpful and unwelcome.
“I would remind Leo Varadkar that one of the foundation stones of the Belfast Agreement is the principle of consent. If his Government continues to harden its language in relation to the border, then it is showing total disrespect to the people of Northern Ireland and their right to self-determination.
“Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom and will remain so until the people of Northern Ireland decide otherwise. No one is going to use Brexit to undermine the Belfast Agreement or tear the United Kingdom apart. If anyone needs special status, it is the Republic of Ireland.”