Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry has said the triggering of Article 50 is leading the UK over a cliff-edge, after the Prime Minister said she would start the process next week.
The two-year procedure will begin on Wednesday, March 29 when Theresa May officially notifies the EU. Dr Farry said there would be severe effects.
He added: “The triggering of Article 50 will be tantamount to the UK walking over a cliff-edge. There will be huge economic, social, financial and political consequences from a Brexit, especially a hard landing.
“Once Article 50 is triggered, the UK is severing its relationship with the EU, and there are no guarantees of what any replacement will be. The future relationship, including any extension of the UK’s membership, will now be in the hands of the remaining 27 member states. But Alliance is clear any and all possible future arrangements will be lesser compared to what the UK has at present, and is set to throw away.
“The need for a coherent and sustainable Executive to be put in place has become even more pressing. Northern Ireland needs a strong governmental voice to stand up and advocate for the interests of this region. The provision of a proper plan for Brexit needs to be a core component of any coalition agreement emerging from the current talks.
“However, the UK Government also needs to make a much stronger statement recognising Northern Ireland has a range of particular and unique challenges arising from Brexit, and it recognises some form of special deal for this region is essential to address local economic and social conditions, to protect the Good Friday Agreement arrangements and to promote political stability.”