A Labour MP has been accused of “taking diplomacy lessons from Donald Trump” over comments she made about the Irish border post-Brexit.
Kate Hoey, who backed Leave in the EU referendum, suggested Ireland should pay for a wall if one needed to be built between the Republic and Northern Ireland in the event of a “no-deal” divorce.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re not the ones who are going to be putting up the physical border.
“If it ends up with a no-deal, we won’t be putting up the border – they’ll (the Republic of Ireland) have to pay for it, because it doesn’t need to happen.”
Ireland and the UK are locked in a diplomatic row over how to solve the border issue.
Dublin has insisted it will not back negotiations moving on to trade before receiving a written guarantee of no return to a hard border.
Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain hit out at the “unhinged attack from hard Brexit cheerleaders”.
Lord Hain, a supporter of the pro-EU campaign group Open Britain, said: “With her suggestion that Ireland will have to pay for any border, Kate Hoey seems to have been taking diplomacy lessons from Donald Trump.
“It really is astonishing how much damage Brexit is already doing to our country’s reputation.
“Even our closest friends, Ireland, are now becoming the target of unhinged attacks from hard Brexit cheerleaders.”
It comes after Downing Street appeared to back International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, who said no decision on the Irish border would be made before talks move on to trade.
The PM’s spokesman said issues could only be concluded “in context of the future relationship”.
EU leaders are due to gather next month and will decide at the summit whether “sufficient progress” has been made in the talks for the negotiations to proceed to talks on Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.