Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Irish border agreement has to be part of Brexit deal, Juncker warns

Irish border agreement has to be part of Brexit deal, Juncker warns

Speaking in Dublin alongside European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, Varadkar said a Brexit deal which doesn't include guarantees for keeping the Irish border open "is of no use to us whatsoever".

Mr Juncker started his visit with a meeting with Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar and Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney at Government Buildings in Dublin.

The Taoiseach said: "I'm very much looking forward to President Juncker's first visit to Ireland as Commission President".

The government will also call for a more intense effort from Theresa May to deliver on the deal negotiated to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.

Coming a week ahead of a crunch European Council meeting of leaders in Brussels, the visit is a clear demonstration of the EU's solidarity with Ireland's position.

"Today's address not only afforded us the opportunity to hear directly from President Juncker, it also allowed for an honest and frank exchange of views across the parliament".

Jean-Claude Juncker received an Irish Gaelic games jersey reflecting European unity on his last day in Ireland.

But there will be no withdrawal agreement without a fully operation backstop.

However, Brexiteers appear unfazed by the threat issued by Mr Daly and are have said leaving the European Union is more important than Northern Ireland remaining in the EU.

The Commission President did not try his luck at either Gaelic football or hurling, preferring to leave it to athletes who demonstrated the sport.

European leaders meet in Brussels next week but a deal is not expected to be struck on the divorce's implications for the 300-mile border with its multiple crossing points until at least another European Council summit in the autumn.

After the meeting, Mr Juncker made clear that a resolution to the border issue was crucial to the withdrawal treaty.

Ahead of an European Union summit next week, Varadkar highlighted British Prime Minister Theresa May's promise to transcribe the so-called backstop solution on Ireland into legal text.

She added: "It has been two years since the United Kingdom embarked upon the road to Brexit and it has failed completely to bring any workable solutions to the table".

In June, the Prime Minister secured the passage of her flagship EU Withdrawal Bill largely unscathed despite threatened backbench revolts.

"But let's be very clear, there will be no withdrawal agreement, no transition agreement and no managed Brexit if the British government do not follow through on their clear commitments in writing to Ireland and the whole European Union as a whole". "That's not fair and it's not what's best for Britain".

Like this: