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Willie O'Dea 'aghast' at the 'comic-book' theatrics to Brexit by 'right wing' factions of UK Government and DUP

A senior Fianna Fáil TD has lashed out at the "comic-book" theatrics to the Brexit deal by "right wing" factions of the British government and DUP, saying he is "aghast" at their initial response.

Party social protection spokesperson Willie O'Dea hit out at DUP and Conservative MPs as he separately said it would be "unpatriotic" for Fianna Fáil to pull down the Government while the Brexit uncertainty continues.

Speaking to reporters at Leinster House, Mr O'Dea said while he understands the tension and diversity of views over the agreed legal text, he cannot understand how aggressive some British MPs have been towards the deal.

Saying it is helping no one, he said he has been left "aghast" at the "comic-book" theatrics taking place.

I'm aghast at some of the reaction, some of the comic-book reaction from the hard right members of the Tory party and DUP who saw fit to rubbish the agreement even before they read the text.

"There's two fundamental facts here. First of all nobody here, north or south, wants a hard border or a return to a hard border.

And secondly, nobody in this country, and particularly people worried about their jobs, want a no deal scenario.

"So we want clarity immediately on a number of things, we want the Taoiseach that this deal if it is accepted ultimately will in no way shape or form or undermine in any way the Good Friday Agreement.

"We also want to know from the Taoiseach what planning has been done to allow Ireland to continue seamlessly trading in event of a deal. And we also want to know what planning has been done in the event of a no deal.

"It's important, we need to de-dramatise this now, here but the UK as well, as you know what's happened here at the moment people are picking out parts of the text," he said.

Mr O'Dea separately said Fianna Fáil will not bring down the Government while the Brexit uncertainty continues - even if this stretches past next March.

Despite the confidence and supply deal preparing to run-out and fears of a snap general election in Ireland, Mr O'Dea said:

"I hope we won't be looking at a crash-out deal on 31 March, because that will have horrendous consequences for the UK but for Ireland and indeed for other EU countries also.

"Micheal Martin has already made clear we will not bring down the Government while there is uncertainty around the Brexit process, it would be unpatriotic to do that. That was our position and that remains our position.

"I can't anticipate and I can't predict the future, but the fact is when there is uncertainty there that has such profound consequences for the country, Fianna Fáil will do its national duty."