02/09/2021

Leo Varadkar Visit 'Meaningless Without Fresh Approach'

Leo Varadkar's visit to Northern Ireland will be "meaningless unless he comes with a fresh approach", DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said.

Speaking ahead of a meeting between the leaders to be held today, Mr Donaldson said: "Mr Varadkar and some others spent years scaremongering about checkpoints that would never exist. He has championed a Protocol which fundamentally undermines the Belfast Agreement and he has dismissed economic and constitutional concerns with patronising comments about the colour of our post boxes.
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"It was Leo Varadkar as the then Taoiseach who insisted on such arrangements with fellow EU leaders. If the Irish Sea border remains, then Mr Varadkar will return as Taoiseach with a legacy of relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic fundamentally undermined and political progress in Northern Ireland reversed.

"Mr Varadkar faces a choice. He can continue with the rhetoric of recent years and watch those events unfold or he can adopt a new spirit of positive co-operation. Arrangements which respect both the EU Single Market and Northern Ireland's place within the UK internal market are not just achievable but would deliver on the promise of protecting the Belfast Agreement.

"Leo Varadkar and the Irish Government are not passengers in this process. Harming our relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom means that other relationships are harmed as well. Those are the choices Mr Varadkar and others must face in the coming days."


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