Paisley says Republic of Ireland was ‘done over’ during Brexit negotiations
Ian Paisley has claimed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was "done over" last week by a combination of the EU, the UK and the DUP.
Writing in the Dublin-based Sunday Business Post yesterday, the DUP MP gave a punchy assessment of how last week's roller coaster negotiations unfolded.
"Last Monday morning Leo Varadkar believed he was about to pull off a major coup of having secured Northern Ireland harmonisation with the Republic of Ireland," he wrote.
"Four days later, a new agreement emerged with vast sections rewritten and a different relationship established.
"Frankly, whatever efforts are made to characterise this week, Leo Varadkar was done over by the EU, the UK and the DUP."
The North Antrim MP said that the DUP had been warning Dublin for weeks that they had "overstretched themselves".
"They were warned that the effort to make the border the centrepiece of the negotiations was misguided and that any discussion about the border was irrelevant until after the trade relationship part of the negotiations had been established.
"Friday's agreement effectively conceded that point," the MP wrote.
Mr Paisley praised the calibre of Irish business leaders, saying they would be easily capable of exploiting the opportunities of the new post-Brexit trading arrangements.
"I've never doubted the agility and ability of Irish businessmen to make the best out of that trading relationship," he added.
In his article, Mr Paisley also claimed that while a 'no deal' scenario would pose significant challenges for Northern Ireland, such an outcome would cripple the Republic's economy.
"Frankly, that should put the fear of the Almighty into the Republic to urgently cheer on a trade agreement that - instead of penalising them - actually works for them," he wrote.
"Let's face it: we want the ROI to be successful. It's just a pity that does not always appear to be reciprocated."