The chaos at Westminster on Brexit is deepening every day as we approach the date when we will be dragged out of the EU against our will.

On a daily basis we see new factions being formed in British politics, each with its own agenda. None of those agendas, however, will serve Irish interests and certainly will not act in the interests of border communities like ours.

There is a deal on the table and it contains the backstop which has been designed to prevent a hard Border on the island of Ireland.

The backstop is not new; it did not just emerge in recent weeks. It has been on the agenda for more than a year now and the British government have already agreed to it twice.

It is now being exploited by hard-line Tory Brexiteers and their DUP allies to further their reckless Brexit agenda.

They are not doing any of this out of concern for the people of the north and those who live along the Border. They could not care less about it. Many of them have never visited the Border, don't know the realities of daily life along the Border, and don't want to know. They do not know the experience of Border communities in the past and why people are fearful for the future with Brexit.

Our Border constituency is set to become the epicentre of the collateral damage created by Brexit.

Myself and my party colleagues in Fermanagh and South Tyrone have been meeting with business leaders in the constituency. They are afraid for their businesses and their employees.

We have spoken to workers. They fear for their jobs, their families, and their communities.

Our local agri-food businesses are being told that their food labelling will not be compliant on 30th March. They will be unable to export to the EU. In local terms this means that they will unable to export to their bases in the south of Ireland.

The agri-food supply chain operates across Ireland, and can cross the border multiple times between production, primary and secondary processing, storage, logistics and sales. Changes in regulations such as this will cripple these businesses, and our local economy in the process.

This whole Brexit debacle has shown, once again, that Westminster does not act in the interests of the north and never will.

Westminster is the source of the Brexit problem; its solution will not be found there.

That is why Sinn Féin have been working hard in Brussels and Dublin, raising awareness of the importance of the Good Friday Agreement and why it must be protected from Brexit and to ensure that the interests of Ireland have been put centre stage in this debate.

We will not sit with the British government at Westminster. We are on the other side of the negotiating table with the EU27, giving voice to the people of the North who voted to reject Brexit.

The nationalist and republican people of the north have already rejected Brexit, realising that it will never deliver for them. Indeed, all it is delivering now is chaos and dysfunction.

There is also a lot of misinformation coming from Westminster around Brexit, some of it through ignorance and some of it deliberate.

Recent claims from Arlene Foster that there was never a hard Border were absolutely ludicrous. In her case, as someone who was born and grew up in near the Border, ignorance is not an excuse.

All of us know there was a hard Border and no-one wants to return to it.

That is why we absolutely need to see the backstop option as already agreed being maintained. It cannot undermined or negotiated away.

The EU have been clear that Brexit negotiations will not be reopened. The Irish government have also been firm on that.

We need to see those positions maintained in the time ahead as Tory Brexiteers try to increase the pressure and attempt to shift the blame onto the Irish government.

The Irish government and EU27 now need to stand firm and act in the interests of Ireland, north and south, ensure the protection of the Good Friday Agreement and ensure there is no hard border on the island of Ireland.

The uncertainty around Brexit is bad for business, bad for communities and bad for our peace agreements.

We need certainty and clarity. There is a deal on the table. It is not perfect but it is an insurance policy for the people of Ireland, and particularly constituencies like ours, against the worst excesses of Brexit.

If Brexit cannot be mitigated or managed then we need another direction. People are having conversations now that they never had before. It is time to remove the Border by giving the people of Ireland their say on their own future.