News World Irish PM says he may compromise on Brexit border issue

Irish PM says he may compromise on Brexit border issue

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Thursday he was willing to listen to alternative proposals from the next British prime minister on keeping Northern Ireland’s border open after Brexit and could compromise if his objectives were achieved.

Both candidates for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have said they oppose Ireland’s proposal for a “backstop” clause in Britain’s withdrawal agreement that would ensure regulatory alignment between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Both have warned that Britain would be willing to risk massive economic disruption and leave the European Union without a deal if no alternative is found and both have said even a significant concession from the European Union on the Irish border might be insufficient.

“I am going to have to listen to the prime minister, whenever he is elected, and I’ll have a chance to see if they have any meaningful or workable suggestions,” Varadkar told Irish broadcaster RTE ahead of the announcement of the results of the leadership contest next week.

“If they have proposals that genuinely achieve the same outcome, I have to listen to them,” he said. “If they don’t, then obviously we can’t depart in any way from the Withdrawal Agreement or the backstop.”

Any proposal would need to ensure that Brexit should not lead to the emergence of a hard border, that the rights of citizens in Northern Ireland are fully protected and that north-south cooperation on the economy and Northern Ireland’s 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal be preserved, he said.

“I am willing to compromise, provided those objectives are achieved,” Varadkar said.

“I can see a route [to avoiding a hard border] but I don’t think we can take that for granted and that’s why we are stepping up our preparations for no-deal,” he added.

One option, Varadkar said, would be for the backstop to cover just Northern Ireland rather than the whole of the United Kingdom, but he said the Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 members of parliament prop up the Conservative government, would likely have difficulties with that.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Euro zone pledges continued fiscal support against Covid-19

Euro zone finance ministers have pledged continued fiscal support for their economies and discussed the design of post-pandemic recovery plans as the European Commission...

Total of 113 fines for violation of covid-19 restrictive measures

Police issued 111 fines to individuals and two more to shop owners all across Cyprus over the past 24 hours for breaching measures aiming...

Cyprus-UAE review prospects of advancing bilateral relations

The foreign ministers of Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates have reviewed the prospects of advancing relations between the two friendly nations across all...

New covid-19 cases on the decrease but hospital admissions on the rise in Cyprus

New coronavirus cases in Cyprus were on the decrease over the past couple of days but health experts are cautiously optimistic that the strict...

Approval of revised Cyprus 2021 budget closer but still not certain

It seems that approval of Cyprus’ revised 2021 budget which is to be put to the vote before parliament on Thursday is almost certain...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...