Belfast Telegraph

Taoiseach rejects idea of new Brexit deal as Johnson becomes PM

 

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
Philip and Theresa May
Greenpeace protest
Boris meets the Queen
Carrie Symonds
Mrs May’s final Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons
Boris greeted by Downing Street staff

By John Downing

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar dismissed Boris Johnson's Brexit rhetoric as he vowed there would be no opportunity for Britain to negotiate a new deal.

The risk of a crash-out Brexit intensified as Mr Varadkar and several EU leaders openly challenged the new UK Prime Minister to table specific ideas.

"Confidence and enthusiasm are no substitute for a comprehensive EU policy," Mr Varadkar warned, as he frankly acknowledged British and Irish governments were "at odds" with each other.

The Taoiseach added Mr Johnson's backstop comments are "not in the real world" and a new Brexit deal was "not going to happen".

Formally congratulating Mr Johnson, Mr Varadkar said he looked forward to meeting him and forming a good relationship with the government teams in London and Dublin.

But the Taoiseach said he needed to hear details of Mr Johnson's approach to Brexit.

Mr Varadkar said both Dublin and the EU were determined there would be no reopening of the EU-UK divorce deal done by Theresa May.

He stressed that time was now very short, but he also said the Westminster parliament would block a no-deal outcome.

In Brussels, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier made it clear there were no plans to renegotiate the divorce deal.

"We look forward to hearing what the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants," he said.

Meanwhile, in a terse letter to Mr Johnson, EU Council President Donald Tusk demanded "details" on Brexit.

Dominic Cummings, the man who framed the false Brexit pledge of £350m extra per week for the NHS via an EU subscriptions clawback, has been appointed to advise Mr Johnson on the issue.

The appointment has been greeted with joy by Brexiteers - but roundly condemned by Remain MPs in all parties.

The announcement has come despite MPs earlier this year passing a formal motion condemning Mr Cummings for his "significant interference" in the work of a parliament committee probe into "fake news".

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