Arlene Foster claims warning hard border will wreck peace process gives `succour to men of violence'
DUP leader Arlene Foster accused opponents of Brexit who warn a hard border will wreck the peace process of giving "succour to men of violence".
Mrs Foster told the Belfast Telegraph like others "who lived on the border" during the Troubles she has "very little tolerance for such arguments".
"There was never any justification for violence.
"Lofty speeches about a return to the borders of the 70s and 80s are not based on fact and only serve to add succour to men of violence."
What "would be catastrophic for our economy", she argued would be placing any new barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
"Seventy-two per cent of all goods leaving Belfast Port are destined for GB and 75 per cent of goods coming into NI are from GB. To place any new barriers between NI and GB would be catastrophic for our economy.
"...We are living through incredibly historic days. The decisions made in the next few weeks will dictate the kind of UK our grandchildren experience."
Mrs Foster was responding to a report that British primer minister Theresa May had secured a deal that will see the UK remain within a customs union with the EU.
The EU has indicated it will not shift from its demand that Northern Ireland remain part of the customs union and the single market to avoid a hard border with the Republic.
"We are seeking an outcome that works for NI, the UK and the EU. That would be a sensible deal," Mrs Foster said.
"An outcome that effectively redraws the border and moves it to the Irish Sea is not sensible for the Northern Ireland economy or in a political sense, for the Union.
"The prime minister knows that we have had one red line in this Brexit process. We will not tolerate the economic or constitutional integrity of the UK being undermined by any deal."