Taoiseach's Brussels Visit: No Renegotiation Of Brexit Deal

The EU has restated its firm position on the UK's divorce deal as non-negotiable.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was in Brussels for further Brexit talks with senior EU officials this week, in a bid to consolidate support for the current proposal and ramp up plans for a no-deal scenario.

It comes as the UK Government has voted to seek changes to the agreement, mainly the Irish backstop, and Prime Minister Theresa May has travelled to Brussels to advocate for legal amendments.

Following the delegation, the Taoiseach released a joint statement with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, emphasising their hard-line position that the Withdrawal Agreement is the only proposal on the table.

"It is not open for renegotiation," they stated.

"The backstop is an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement. While we hope the backstop will not need to be used, it is a necessary legal guarantee to protect peace and to ensure there will be no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland, while protecting the integrity of our Single Market and the Customs Union.

"The Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, is a balanced compromise, representing a good outcome for citizens and businesses on all sides, including in Northern Ireland.

"The backstop is not a bilateral issue, but a European one. Ireland's border is also the border of the European Union and its market is part of the Single Market. We will stay united on this matter."

The officials added that they also plan to "step up" preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

"In this context, programmes that provide support for cross-border peace and reconciliation in the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be continued and strengthened.

"The Commission stands ready to support Ireland in finding solutions answering the specific challenges that Ireland and Irish citizens, farmers and businesses will face. We will work closely together to this end over the coming weeks. We will continue to remind the Government of the United Kingdom of its responsibilities under the Good Friday Agreement, with or without a deal."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

22 September 2022
Communities Minister Announces New Co-Ownership Support
Wider support for Co-Ownership housing has been announced by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey. The change sees an increase in the Co-Ownership property value limit from £175,000 to £190,000 to continue to support people into home ownership.
28 September 2022
Hargey Concerned For Vulnerable People In Cost-Of-Living Crisis
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has expressed her concern over cost-of-living pressures on households with vulnerable people including those with disabilities, pensioners and children.
28 September 2022
Men Arrested During Larne And Ballyclare Search Operations
Two men have been arrested during a series of search operations in the Larne and Ballyclare areas on Tuesday 27 September. Four searches were carried out by officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) assisted by the Police Service's Tactical Support Group and local district officers.
21 September 2022
Lyons Launches Series Of Energy Advice And Support Videos
A series of consumer information videos providing energy advice and support to help households this winter, has been launched by Economy Minister Gordon Lyons. The consumer information videos are part of an energy information campaign involving the Department for the Economy, the Consumer Council and the Utility Regulator.
21 September 2022
NI To Receive 'Equivalent Support' As GB Energy Guarantee
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has confirmed that NI households will receive 'equivalent support' to those already announced in Great Britain. The Northern Ireland Energy Price Guarantee will offer households the same level of gas and electricity bill support as the equivalent scheme in Great Britain.