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Arlene Foster calls for 'neighbourliness' as she poses with Shane Ross in the Ballroom of Romance

The pair were in Leitrim today to launch a new stretch of a greenway linking Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh.

DUP LEADER ARLENE Foster called for “continued neighbourliness” with Ireland post-Brexit today, as she spoke at an event in Leitrim with Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

The pair posed for the cameras in the same hall in Glenfarne used for the film Ballroom of Romance, starring Brenda Fricker. 

Turning to Brexit, Foster said that the Irish government’s “mega Bill” to deal with a no-deal Brexit that was published today does not include any plans for infrastructure on the border with Northern Ireland.

“We don’t want to see any infrastructure on the border going forward,” she told RTÉ News. 

We want to see the same neighbourliness that has been here for many years keep going… We want to see the same continued trade, but in a situation where we’re outside of the European Union and the Republic of Ireland is staying in.

Foster was there for the opening of a section of a new greenway linking Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh.

Minister Ross said the greenway project has “great potential”. 

“If it were to be completed, it could have economic benefits for the many communities it encompasses and would enable people to walk and cycle on a segregated route from Sligo in the Republic to Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh,” he said.

As Foster and Ross posed for the cameras, she told the Transport Minister that he was a “rascal”. 

‘Lose, lose, lose’

The DUP leader reiterated her belief a deal could be struck between the UK and the EU to avoid a no-deal Brexit before the 29 March deadline.

“We want to see a deal that works for the whole of the United Kingdom and one that works for our neighbours here in Ireland as well,” she told RTÉ. “We very much hope that can be the case but what we need to see is a willingness from everybody to get there.”

The DUP is vehemently opposed to the provision of a backstop within the UK’s withdrawal agreement, and Theresa May’s government is seeking to secure some form concession from the EU on the backstop.

Both the Irish government and the EU have stood firm on the backstop thus far, raising the possibility of neither sides agreeing and the UK leaving without a deal.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, in outlining the no-deal Brexit legislation today, said it was vital that a no-deal was avoided as it was a “lose, lose, lose” situation.

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Sean Murray

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