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22/10/2021

'Doesn't necessarily keep its word' - Tánaiste warns world leaders about doing deals with UK after 'alarming' claims over Brexit deal

'Doesn't necessarily keep its word' - Tánaiste warns world leaders about doing deals with UK after 'alarming' claims over Brexit deal

The Tánaiste was speaking after Dominic Cummings indicated the British Government never planned to stick to the Brexit deal.

Leo Varadkar has said claims by a former senior aide to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that the UK never intended to stick with the Brexit deal it agreed, are very alarming, and indicates it is a government and administration that operated in bad faith.

The Tánaiste was speaking after Dominic Cummings indicated the British Government never planned to stick to the Brexit deal.

Former advisor to Boris Johnson, Cummings said in a series of tweets that he had planned to get Mr Johnson to "ditch the bits we didn't like" after beating Labour in the 2019 general election.

Mr. Varadkar told RTE Morning Ireland: “I saw those comments; I hope Dominic Cummings is speaking for himself and not for the British Government.

"But those comments are very alarming because that would indicate that this is a government, an administration, that acted in bad faith and that message needs to be heard around the world.

"If the British government doesn't honour its agreements, it doesn't adhere to treaties it signs, that must apply to everyone else too.

"At the moment they're going around the world, they're trying to negotiate new trade agreements...Surely the message must go out to all countries around the world that this is a British government that doesn't necessarily keep its word and doesn't necessarily honour the agreements it makes.

"And you shouldn't make any agreements with them until such time as you're confident that they keep their promises, and honour things, for example, like the protocol."

It comes as the EU is set to outline a range of proposals aimed at resolving the political stand-off over the protocol.

European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič has promised the measures will be "very far-reaching" and address issues over the movement of agri-food goods and medicines across the Irish Sea.

The proposals are expected to significantly reduce the number of checks required on goods being shipped into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the EU has listened to Northern Ireland and will announce “far-reaching proposals” to respond to “very real concerns” about the protocol.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr. Coveney said today is about solving problems not creating more problems.

"If the UK decides that they want to collapse the protocol, I think then heading into very a difficult space in terms of retaliatory measures," he said.

He said there is "a very genuine and serious effort" by the EU to respond to issues that have been raised on the ground by the unionist community, by business interests and by others in Northern Ireland and it should be taken in that spirit.

"There's been a lot of rancour, a been a lot of standoffs, a lot of red lines, a lot of cliff edges in relation to the negotiations around Brexit and the protocol," he said.

"We need to try to move away from that type of negotiation now towards trying to find an agreement that can work for Northern Ireland and people there," Mr Coveney added.

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