| 17°C Belfast

EU was prepared to place a Celtic sea border: Cummings  

Close

Claims: Dominic Cummings during his interview with the BBC. Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC

Claims: Dominic Cummings during his interview with the BBC. Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC

PA

Brexit: Cummings claims that French President Macron threatened checks. Credit: Daniel Cole/AP

Brexit: Cummings claims that French President Macron threatened checks. Credit: Daniel Cole/AP

AP

/

Claims: Dominic Cummings during his interview with the BBC. Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC

Brexit mastermind and former Boris Johnson adviser Dominic Cummings has said he believed the EU might have been ready to place a sea border between the Irish Republic and the rest of the EU in order to protect the Single Market — and that the Good Friday Agreement has  “f***  all” to do with Brussels. 

In a series of tweets exchanged with former Treasury Minister David Gauke yesterday, former Vote Leave strategist Cummings said post referendum Brexit negotiations with the EU could have seen French President Emmanuel Macron push for border checks between the Republic and the rest of the EU if the UK had refused to carry out any border checks in Northern Ireland.

“Think outcome would have been Macron insisting on checks between Ireland and the SM! (Single Market),” Mr Cummings wrote.

“Because we’d have refused ANY checks anywhere & Ireland would not have dared build anything either,” he tweeted.

“Mr Macron frequently threatened checks between IRE/SM (Ireland and the Single Market) whether he’d have done it is obviously a different question and I agree he may well not have done…”

“Ireland became huge leverage for them (the EU) because of SW1 (London) playing student politics, not realpolitik.

“If VL (Vote Leave) had run things from 6/16 (June 2016, when the referendum was held) we’d have refused checks in Irish Sea or to build anything on Ireland border.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

“And we’d have pointed out GFA has f*** all to do with Brussels!

“Ireland would have been a bit messy but so what? It’s a small problem relative to others,” Mr Cummings said.

“NI would have been a minor part of the negotiations if we’d run them from 6/16, because we’d have made clear we’d have acted unilaterally if they d**ked around babbling about GFA etc,” he tweeted.

The former No 10 adviser also described the Northern Ireland-related parts of the EU Withdrawal Treaty as deliberately opaque.

Mr Cummings said it was his view that this suited the UK, the Republic and Brussels, “for different reasons, in autumn 2019”.

That was when Mr Johnson and then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a “pathway to a possible deal” and when the Irish backstop was replaced, following a compromise which saw the UK make concessions over Northern Ireland that would later come back to haunt the Government.

In another tweet yesterday, he pointed out that Irish concerns were not at the forefront of the Government’s mind during the Brexit negotiations.

“Avoiding some legal messiness re Ireland was *very* far from our priority,” he said.

“Very small beer given context & our (Vote Leave’s) actual priorities, like implementing our science & tech agenda.”

Mr Cummings’ remarks did not go down well with Irish commentators.

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond responded that it was “crass, ignorant and false” to suggest a Celtic Sea border between the European Union and Irish Republic had ever been a possibility.






Top Videos



Privacy