They're urging public representatives "to weigh their words carefully"

The leaders of the main churches in Ireland have issued a joint Brexit statement - urging people to get along.

Representatives of the Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Church of Ireland churches have all contributed to it.

Signatories include Dr Richard Clarke, Reverend William Davison, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Dr Charles McMullen.

It says: "As the final stages of the initial part of the negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union draw to a close, we as church leaders here on the island of Ireland are inspired by the challenge of Jesus to love our neighbour."

It says relationships between the people North and South "have improved and deepened immeasurably over the past 30 or so years".

Church of Ireland primate Dr Richard Clarke speaking in Armagh in 2013 | Image: Paul Faith/PA Archive/PA Images

"This atmosphere of mutual respect, understanding and growing friendship has been the positive background against which many significant developments have taken place - ceasefires, political accommodation, increased connectedness and rising prosperity for many."

It's also asking public representatives "to weigh their words carefully, to respect the integrity of those who conscientiously differ from them and to speak with grace."

"Regardless of the outcome of this process, as peoples and communities who share this island, we will remain closely related and will have to both get along together and work together in this changing and somewhat uncertain world that lies ahead."