Belfast Telegraph

Dodds warns Varadkar not to interfere in Northern Ireland politics

By Staff Reporter

The DUP has accused Leo Varadkar of "politicking" after the Taoiseach said Brexiteers need to acknowledge that they created the difficulties surrounding Northern Ireland's border.

Mr Varadkar said that he is trying to resolve the issue and ensure that Northern Ireland can retain the "peace and freedom of movement" it has had for the past 20 years.

Speaking on his arrival at the European Summit in Brussels ahead of Brexit negotiations, Mr Varadkar said: "My message to all of the people in Northern Ireland is, what we want to continue on the island of Ireland is exactly what we had for the last 20 years, which is peace and freedom of movement and free trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland and indeed between Ireland and Britain."

He added: "What is disrupting that is Brexit and I would hope that some of the people who supported Brexit and campaigned for that would realise, or at least acknowledge, that they are the ones who created this problem and I am one of those people who is trying to resolve it, trying to retain what we have had for 20 years ... that's what I am working towards."

The Taoiseach and Prime Minister Theresa May had a short discussion last night. They are planning to meet in the new year to discuss Brexit and the Executive, which collapsed in January.

Mr Varadkar said he is happy with the "maintain full alignment" agreement that was made last week.

Following Mr Varadkar's comments, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said: "Mr Varadkar continues to make incomplete commentary around the agreement reached last week.

"He should stop politicking ahead of his general election and start respecting the unionists of Northern Ireland."

Mr Dodds insisted that as a result of the text of the agreement reached last week between the EU and the UK "Northern Ireland will not just leave the European Union along with the rest of the United Kingdom, but it will leave the single market and the customs union along with the rest of the United Kingdom".

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