The Social Democrats need to get with the programme on all things Brexit after their co-Leader Róisín Shortall called for a major beefing up of border security with the costs to be borne by the EU, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Dublin North West TD, Noel Rock said: “I was listening to Deputy Shortall this morning in abject amazement.

“Not once throughout the Brexit process has the policing of the border been envisaged by Fine Gael.

“The Government is working assiduously with European partners to limit the requirement for checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland but unfortunately the ongoing chaos in Westminster and the British government’s decision to renege on commitments means great difficulties are presented to the twin objectives of protecting the single market and not undermining the Good Friday Agreement.

“Deputy Shortall must realise, we are the EU, the funds she speaks of are our funds. The scenario she presents is a worst case that can and will be avoided but that won’t be helping by her wading in with such dramatic and final comments.

“The Taoiseach has displayed very strong leadership on Brexit, delivering real results to prevent any border in Ireland and has ensured that the EU is firmly behind Ireland.

“It has always been up to the UK to provide realistic, meaningful proposals for alternative arrangements, that can provide the same outcome as the backstop.

“I am calling on Deputy Shortall to clarify her comments. Can she please explain at their think-in today how the Soc Dems in Government would police the border?

“Do they not realise what it would mean? Do they know the impact policing a border has? Ask anyone who lives there, and they’ll get a very quick response.

“We have seen comments regularly being taken out of context by British tabloid media and being stretched and distorted to suit their agenda. That’s why it’s so important that we have clarity on comments like these, and why members of our Parliament need to be clear in what they’re saying on Brexit at all times,” the Fine Gael TD said.