News & Media

Delivery of Brexit deal now up to Johnson

17 October 2019

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

Speaking in Brussels, following a meeting with Michel Barnier and the Article 50 Taskforce, Brendan Howlin, leader of the Labour Party, said that the Brexit deal was now moving from diplomacy to domestic British politics.

Deputy Howlin said: “It is clear that the EU team has negotiated a revised deal with their British counterparts, and most of the technical issues are resolved or can be resolved, in the case of VAT rules. The Barnier team do not get involved in domestic political matters, so they are purely interested in agreeing a deal with the British side.

“The question now is whether Boris Johnson can get this revised deal through the British Parliament. If he can persuade the DUP and the Brexiteers in his own party, he may bring the deal back to London. But if he feels that he can’t get the numbers in Westminster, he may well abandon the deal for domestic political consumption rather than repeat May’s performance of failing to have it pass his own Parliament.

“Later today, I hope to hear the British Labour Party perspective from Jeremy Corbyn. As things stand, it seems highly unlikely that many British Labour MPs will back Johnson’s deal because the revised Political Declaration is likely to move away from European environmental and workplace standards.”