British Cabinet politicing suggests we have a long way to go on soft Brexit

10 December 2017

Labour Leader Brendan Howlin has warned that the internal politics of the British Conservative Party could derail the prospects of a ‘soft’ Brexit with the advantages that would bring for Ireland.

Deputy Howlin said:

“It is deeply disappointing to hear a number of comments over the weekend from a number of cabinet ministers and to read in this morning’s Sunday Telegraph of officials briefing senior UK cabinet members that the agreement arrived at with the EU and Ireland was ‘meaningless’ and ‘not binding’ or had limited effect to a number of areas. 

“I am well aware that complex negotiations such as these are often subject to multiple interpretations – that is often the nature of such agreements, particularly when they are simply staging posts on the way to a comprehensive agreement. 

“I am not so naive as to expect British ministers to publicly endorse An Taoiseach’s interpretation of the guarantees in relation to Ireland as ‘bulletproof’.

“That said, UK politicians and officials need to realise that their melodrama is being played out very publicly and the obvious interpretation from an Irish and EU perspective is that the UK is negotiating in bad faith.

“We must all remain focused on the ultimate endpoint of this process and premature declarations of victory or defeat are not alone meaningless but counterproductive – on all sides.”

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