Fine Gael leader Mr Varadkar - who is now deputy to current Taoiseach Micheal Martin - suggested the difficulties, which arise as a result of the U
Fine Gael leader Mr Varadkar – who is now deputy to current Taoiseach Micheal Martin – suggested the difficulties, which arise as a result of the UK Government’s plans to introduce legislation today which is likely to override some aspects of the Northern Ireland protocol, were “not insurmountable”. They are also indicative the Government’s realisation in respect of the precarious situation Ireland finds itself in.
Mr Varadkar also suggested Mr Johnson’s move could be “brinkmanship” aimed at forcing the EU’s hand on sticking points including fishing rights and state aid.
He also claimed the UK’s “kamikaze” strategy had backfired.
Mr Varadkar made reference to Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis’s admission that legislation overriding parts of the Withdrawal Agreement would break international law.
He said: “These were really extraordinary comments, and certainly set off alarm bells in Dublin.”
Nevertheless, Mr Varadkar told RTE radio: “I think they want a deal.”
He suggested the remaining issues “would not seem insurmountable”.
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He said: “Is this political gamesmanship or is there really a piece of legislation that’s going to emerge this week, which is contrary to the withdrawal agreement. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Ray Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, told Express.co.uk on Sunday the Irish Government was watching events across the Irish Sea anxiously.
Speaking after UK chief negotiator David Frost warned Britain was not afraid to walk away from the negotiating table, Mr Bassett said: “There must be extreme nervousness in Government circles in Dublin.
“They bet heavily on the Remainers in London and have lost the bet.
“I think nobody can be in any doubt but that the demands Barnier is making on fisheries and on the EU having control of the EU state aid in Britain are undeliverable.
“The prospects do not look good for Ireland in 2021.”
Mr Bassett, who published his new book, Ireland and the EU Post Brexit recently, fears Ireland will be increasingly marginalised in the EU after the end of the year and is an advocated of Irexit.
In his book he writes: “We need a long hard look at our EU membership and pose the question, is it worth the price?”
“The billionaire businessman, George Soros, an ardent europhile, has accepted the inevitable and predicted that unless the EU reforms it will perish.
“The pipe dreams of Emmanuel Macron and his proposals for even a more centralised EU are vanishing against the cold reality of the desire for the citizenry of EU Member States for national sovereignty.
“Those in Ireland and elsewhere who unthinkingly supposed treaty after treaty – the Single European Act, Amsterdam, Nice, Maastricht, Lisbon etc – without having the faintest idea what were in them, bear a very heavy responsibility for the sorry state Europe is in at present.
“They treated the average citizen with contempt and broke the connection between the ordinary citizen and the State.