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Blasé comments by Taoiseach on Brexit disappoint

11 February 2018

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

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin TD has described today’s interview by the Taoiseach with RTE This Week on Brexit as ‘blasé’ and disappointing.

Deputy Howlin said:

“"The Taoiseach has been reduced to seeking clarity on matters he has already declared clear.

“"Having been told we had secured a cast iron guarantee, the Taoiseach’s own words –in December, he is now telling us he is still looking for clarity from the British.

"These two positions are incompatible. The reality is that despite substantial support for UK membership of the single market and the customs union within the UK Parliament, Mrs May continues to be led by a group of hard Brexiteers that is insistent on the UK leaving the single market and customs union.

"It is difficult to know what other ‘clarification’ the Taoiseach wants. He knows, as everybody knows that if the UK as a whole leaves the single market and the customs union that the disruptive implications for Northern Ireland are considerable.

"Rather than indicating to the British as the Government has recently being doing, that we will continue to work closely with them post Brexit it is time we spelt out clearly that any breach of the December understanding will represent the most fundamental difficulty in Anglo-Irish relations for forty years.

"It is increasingly becoming clear that this British Government is incapable and unwilling to honour its commitment. We would do better proffering support to those In Britain who understand their commitments under the Good Friday Agreement and are working to ensure Britain honours them.”"