Government failure and UK backsliding mean risk of disastrous Brexit rising

23 June 2018

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin TD has warned that the failure of the Government to deliver on the backstop, and the latest demand by Boris Johnson for a full British Brexit mean the risk of a disastrous Brexit is increasing, and that the Government should insist on a deadline for agreement on the backstop well in advance of October.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Next week the EU Council will meet and despite many commitments and promises from the Government we have seen no further developments on avoiding a hard border.

“This is despite the Tánaiste previously saying in May that the UK must make significant progress on an Irish Border “backstop” agreement by June for EU withdrawal talks to continue, words also echoed by the Taoiseach at the time.

“It is incredible that the Taoiseach would now also publicly warn that a no deal Brexit is more likely despite having allowed negotiations to open on the future trade relationship without any solid commitments on the backstop.

“There is a need for more than words by Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney to secure Ireland’s national interest.

“The Government should insist on a deadline for the UK to produce a backstop agreement on the border, well in advance of the European Council meeting in October, so that Ireland is not pushed into a last-minute compromise that could fundamentally damage our interests.

“The latest saber-rattling from Boris Johnson for a full British Brexit is timed to stem the multiple concerns being raised by major employers in the UK about the impact of a no deal Brexit. He is the king of the lemmings leading the British people towards the cliff.

“The concerns of Airbus and other employers have clearly rattled him, and the expression of people power today with tens of thousands marching through London for a People’s Vote will hopefully concentrate minds.

“The ongoing failure of the UK government to arrive a settled position and address the inconsistencies of what they want continues to drag out the process.

“The ball is now firmly in the Taoiseach’s court, and he must now use the commitments and expressed solidarity from our colleagues in Europe to ensure a deadline is agreed well in advance of the EU Council.”


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