Leo Varadkar: Brexit has undermined Good Friday agreement
Ireland Leo Varadkar: Brexit has undermined Good Friday agreement
Irish PM says process has strained relations between UK and Ireland
Brexit has undermined the Good Friday agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland and has strained relations between Britain and Ireland, the Irish prime minister has said.
In an interview with RTÃ on Saturday morning, Leo Varadkar said Ireland was about to enter a difficult period because of the impact Brexit would have on the economy.
He indicated that a Brexit deal would give renewed impetus to parties in Northern Ireland to reach an agreement to restore devolved government in the region, 22 months after the Stormont assembly collapsed.UK and Ireland signal Irish border Brexit deal could be agreed soon Read more
âBrexit has undermined the Good Friday agreement and is fraying the relationship between Britain and Ireland,â he told the Marian Finucane show. âAnything that pulls the communities apart in Northern Ireland undermines the Good Friday agreement, and anything that pulls Britain and Ireland apart undermines that relationship.â
He said if there was some clarity in the next couple of weeks or months there would be âa window of opportunity to get the assembly going againâ.
He went on to reiterate his pledge that there would be no return to a hard border in Ireland whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
On Friday the British and Irish governments signalled that there could be a breakthrough on the Irish border impasse within weeks, which would pave the way to a Brexit deal between the UK and the EU.
Simon Coveney, Irelandâs deputy prime minister, and David Lidington, the UK Cabinet Office minister, said there had been progress in negotiations that could resolve the deadlock and produce a deal this month.
At the same time, the Democratic Unionist party leader, Arlene Foster, indicated a that deal was in the offing after meeting the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, in Belfast.
âGoodness, we have been here on a number of occasions and I think we are close to a deal that will work for Northern Ireland. That is what we want,â said Foster, whose party less than a month ago threatened to withdraw support for the Conservative government if the Brexit deal involved a border in the Irish Sea.Brexit phrasebook: a guide to the talks' key terms Read more
Hopes of a breakthrough have risen in the las t week after it emerged that the EU had proposed a new UK-wide customs arrangement in addition to a backstop or insurance policy in relation to the Irish border.
Under the proposal, the UK would operate a âbare bonesâ customs arrangement, with the EU applying a common external tariff on imports from outside the EU, as is currently the case.Topics
- Leo Varadkar
- Foreign policy
- European Union
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