Barry Kilmartin argued Northern Ireland’s position within the UK had been coming unstuck for some time and Britain’s decision to exit the Brussels bloc was accelerating the process.
Speaking on All Out Politics on Sky News, Mr Kilmartin said his country was “sandwiched” between Britain and Ireland.
Putting a question to the businessman, presenter Adam Boulton said: “Given that the UK as a whole voted to leave and Northern Ireland didn’t, do you think it has just loosened the cement a bit between Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom?”
Mr Kilmartin did not hesitate with his response, describing the current political climate as a “very worrying time”.
Barry Kilmartin said Northern Ireland was "further loosening" its position within the UK
GB, the mainland, is basically sandwiching us in the middle, it’s a very worrying time
He said: “It’s been loosening for a long time, it’s further loosening. We’re a small island over here. Ireland now, the south, is remaining in Europe, Northern Ireland is coming out of Europe.
“GB, the mainland, is basically sandwiching us in the middle, it’s a very worrying time.”
Fears have been sparked over a potential breakdown of the Northern Ireland peace agreement after Theresa May declared Britain will reject the European Union’s free movement principle.
Brexit Negotiations: Britain's sternest enemies Tue, April 4, 2017
According to a new index, the EU27 countries fall into three groups: hard-core, hard and soft. These are the countries with the highest scores which indicate a fairly strong opposition to Britain’s position
AFP/Getty Images 1 of 7
France has the highest score in the index at 32.5
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The Prime Minister’s statement led to beliefs of a hard border being established between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
However, a European Parliament motion passed on Wednesday looks to support the regions throughout the Brexit process.
The motion refers to the “absolute need to ensure continuity and stability of the Northern Ireland peace process” and calls on negotiators to “avoid a hardening of the border”.