Irish PM Privately Telling Opposition Leaders Hard Border Will Be in Calais

Irish PM Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney are expected to offer to meet a DUP delegation this week. The penny is dropping in Dublin that despite Tony Blair’s assurances the British could be about to leave the EU on WTO terms. Despite all the public bluster the reality of the situation is shifting and the Irish government is getting more flexible and creative. To avoid the imposition of a hard border in Ireland the Irish press is reporting that Varadkar is privately telling opposition leaders that they may have to accept EU border checks being imposed on the continent in Calais and other EU entrepôt. There would have to be a fudge on the EU requirement for a hard external border – something that Juncker has already signalled would be acceptable. Whatever happens, deal or no deal, there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland.

Shocked opposition leaders were told by Varadkar that France could take the lead on border infrastructure that would essentially apply to Ireland and the UK “as one bloc” because to keep an open border on the island of Ireland checks would, in the event of no deal, have to be imposed on Irish, as well as British, exports to EU. The DUP will be happy with that. This will of course mean that Ireland will be very keen on a comprehensive UK-EU FTA being concluded quickly to avoid the ongoing need for those checks. Which is the rational outcome business wants…


Euro News



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Ed Davey on who he would like to see lead a government of national unity

“Yvette Cooper for obvious reasons, she’s been very high-profile in cross-party work, and I’ve also mentioned Hilary Benn as chair of the Brexit Select Committee. But it would not be for me here to make that suggestion, it would be for others working cross-party. I think it probably has to be a Labour MP because most of the MPs supporting a Queen’s Speech would be Labour. Ultimately it’s a challenge to my Labour colleagues, many of who realise a no-deal Brexit would be deeply damaging to their constituents.”

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