Belfast Telegraph

Varadkar: Britain will not secure free trade deal without Irish border backstop

The Irish Taoiseach warned new Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the position of Dublin and the EU had not changed.

Leo Varadkar has warned Boris Johnson that Ireland’s and the EU’s position has not changed (Niall Carson/PA).
Leo Varadkar has warned Boris Johnson that Ireland’s and the EU’s position has not changed (Niall Carson/PA).

Britain will not secure a free trade deal with the EU without the Irish border backstop, Ireland’s Taoiseach has said.

Leo Varadkar warned new Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the position of Dublin and the EU had not changed.

The position of the European Union and the position of Ireland has not changed Leo Varadkar

He reiterated his Government’s support for the draft withdrawal agreement, which was intended to pave the way for more discussions on a permanent trade arrangement.

Mr Varadkar said: “The position of the European Union and the position of Ireland has not changed.

“The backstop is an integral part of the withdrawal agreement, without the backstop there is no withdrawal agreement, there is no transition phase, there is no implementation phase and there will be no free trade agreement until all those matters are resolved.

“So I hope that the new UK Prime Minister has not chosen no deal, but that will be up to them.”

The pair are expected to meet soon.

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The backstop is an insurance policy intended to prevent the imposition of a hard border on the island of Ireland (David Young/PA)

The Taoiseach and other ministers held a meeting in Glencolumbkille, Co Donegal, on Thursday.

The backstop is an insurance policy intended to prevent the imposition of a hard border on the island of Ireland if no overarching trade deal is agreed between Britain and the EU.

The backstop would entail Northern Ireland remaining aligned to the EU’s regulations after Brexit.

The DUP and Tory Brexiteers blocked ratification of the withdrawal agreement by Parliament earlier this year over concerns the measure could threaten the integrity of the UK.

Democratic Unionists want a time limit to be put on the backstop, a provision rejected by Ireland as rendering it meaningless.

PA

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