Arlene Foster thinks of the Republic and Northern Ireland like a semi-detached house

The DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she does not want Brexit to 'pull up the drawbridge' between the North and the Republic.

She was speaking at the Killarney Economic Conference this morning.

Mrs Foster also said she thinks of the Republic and Northern Ireland like a semi-detached house - saying they look the same on the outside, but that things are done differently inside.

"But no matter how contrasting the interiors are, they are tied together and part of the same neighbourhood and what happens on one side of the fence inevitably has an impact on the other", she said.

"I know that we are rivals in some respects, but in so many ways success for one of us is success for the other.

"As we chart a new course for the future, it is not in our interests to see the Republic of Ireland do anything other than prosper.

"Nor does it help any of us if we let the challenges that Brexit brings deflect us from the opportunities that will exist in the future.

"We will continue to have our own identities and for our part we will no longer be members of the European Union, but our futures will still be closely connected."

On Brexit, she added: "The Democratic Unionist Party supported the UK leaving the European Union but in so doing Brexit is not about pulling up the drawbridge, building a wall and cutting ourselves off from our nearest neighbours.

"But we must all recognise that change is coming as a result of the referendum."