Published On: Wed, Jun 26th, 2019

Leo Varadkar latest news: Ireland dilemma to avoid no deal Brexit over backstop | World | News

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Ireland and the UK are under intense EU scrutiny over the Irish backstop when Brexit is finally concluded. UK Prime Minister hopefuls Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are both in support of weakening the border to make “technological advances” to allow for easier access across the two nations. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s PM show, political commentator Chris Cook claimed the EU wants a “properly policed” border.

Mr Cook says that only seven percent of Irish citizens are in support of backing the UK’s changes in a bid to avoid a no deal Brexit.

Problems have arisen for Mr Varadkar, who is the leader of the government’s most pro-UK-leaning party, Fine Gael, according to Mr Cook.

He faces the dilemma of working to try and retain support by attempting to negotiate changes with the UK on the backstop.

But Mr Cook said: “If you are Mr Varadkar you’re in a confidence and supply arrangement with your main historical opposition, who are more nationalist than Mr Varadkar’s party.

READ MORE: BREXIT LIVE: Boris demands Hunt comes clean on EU exit date

“At a moment’s notice your government can fall if the opposition says so.

“Also it’s a case that seven percent of Irish people support weakening the Irish ask on the backstop to avoid no deal.

“There is complete political consensus about where they stand.

“Now it’s a tightrope act because we could end up barreling into a no deal.”

He added: “There is no way an Irish government survives that gives in on the backstop.

“It’s possible that the experience of no deal would be so horrendous that that might change.

“It’s also the case that if it’s bad for Ireland, it’s even worse for Northern Ireland – which I think a lot of our MPs forget is actually part of our country.”

The UK is due to leave the EU on October 31, with Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson issuing a firm commitment to honour that date.



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