Taoiseach Sets Out Brexit Stance With UK PM

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has reiterated his understanding that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened to negotiation while on a phone call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Speaking to his English counterpart, Mr Varadkar said he looked forward to their close working relationship and reinforced the Irish Government's position on key Brexit issues.

The Fine Gael leader told Mr Johnson the Irish backstop was a "necessary consequence" of decisions taken by the UK Government, and noted that the EU was united in its view that the proposed Brexit deal could not be reopened.

Mr Varadkar said: "Alternative arrangements could replace the backstop in the future, as envisaged in the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on the future relationship, but thus far satisfactory options have yet to be identified and demonstrated."

The Taoiseach restated the need for both Governments to be fully committed to the Good Friday Agreement, the protection of the Peace Process and the restoration of the Northern Ireland institutions, which have been dissolved for over two years. He recalled that the Agreement requires the sovereign government to exercise power with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in full respect for their rights, equality, parity of esteem and just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos and aspirations of both communities.

The Taoiseach invited the Prime Minister to Dublin to discuss their respective positions on Brexit further and continue discussion of bilateral matters including Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area. 

Mr Johnson is currently in Northern Ireland to meet with the region's key political players.


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