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Varadkar and Coveney need to get their stories straight on Brexit

10 November 2017

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Labour Leader Brendan Howlin has today called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Simon Coveney to put an end to confusion over Brexit, and clearly outline the progress being made in negotiations.

“Earlier this week, when questioned by Labour TDs, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated that “I am now of the view that it is likely we will be able to say that sufficient progress has been made at the December meeting , allowing us to move on to discussions on transition and the future arrangements.”

“But speaking today, Minister Coveney has said that there is a still "a way to go" in negotiations between Britain and the European Union before enough progress has been made to move on to the next phase of Brexit negotiations.

“There is clearly confusion at the heart of the Irish Government’s view of how Brexit negotiations are advancing. And we can’t afford this confusion to continue. If talks are allowed to proceed to the next stage without significant progress having been made on the Irish issues, we risk losing the most significant leverage we have in these negotiations.

“While the Taoiseach and Minister are attending the Fine Gael National Conference this weekend, they might get the opportunity to have a conversation about this, and let the rest of us know which of them is expressing the view of the Government.”