Speaking on Saturday at a Brexit-focused Killarney Economic Conference in Co Kerry, Arlene Foster urged close Anglo-Irish relations, and suggested leaders across the island of Ireland should work together for their mutual benefit during Brexit. "Today was a difference in tone, but not in policy", she said.
"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".
"The Democratic Unionist Party supported the United Kingdom 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", she added.
She also said that the Republic was an "incredibly valuable market" for Northern Ireland businesses but that Great Britain remained Northern Ireland's "biggest external market".
"But we must all recognise that change is coming as a result of the referendum".
"However, this can not distract from the fact that Brexit will be disastrous for all of Ireland".
"The DUP need to put the interests of all our people before party, and set aside the Brexit blank cheque they issued to the Tories as part of their supply and confidence agreement".