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News Worms


Taoiseach on two-day visit to Northern Ireland

Taoiseach on two-day visit to Northern Ireland

Leo Varadkar has made his first trip to Northern Ireland as Taoiseach and has called on people to build bridges, not borders.

The figures were revealed ahead of the Irish Taoiseach warning Brexit will affect "every single aspect of life in Northern Ireland", in his first speech north of the border.

The momentous decision was made by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, who has been a supporter of the marriage equality campaign in Northern Ireland for many years.

In fact, borders are the common property of any two countries whose interests they inevitably divide. "So long as he doesn't interfere in the internal affairs of Northern Ireland who he meets is a matter for him".

Leo Varadkar echoed the phrase of the European Union's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and warned that the "clock was ticking" as the EU and Britain sought to resolve their future relationship and avoid a damaging trade dispute.

Should the British exit the Customs Union then Ireland will be invested with solemn obligations both by the EU, and on behalf of the sovereign people of the twenty-six counties.

'After all, we have one with Turkey.

But relations between the Irish Government and the DUP, the region's biggest party, remain strained after Mr Varadkar said Ireland would not help Britain design an economic border for Brexiteers.

He said a bilateral customs union could be based on one the EU now has with Turkey. "Time is running out, and I fear there will be no extra time allowed".

He said if those arrangements cannot be agreed now there could perhaps be a period of transition during which Britain would stay in the single market and customs union while the issues are worked out.

Varadkar said he believed that young people's voices should be heard in the referendum, and said that if a referendum had not taken place in May or June, he would aim to hold it in the "latter part of the year" instead.

A UK Government spokeswoman said today: "We have been clear that we want a deep and special future partnership with the European Union, including a bold and ambitious free trade agreement and a customs agreement".

He said if this cannot be agreed now then perhaps there can be a period of transition during which the United Kingdom stays in the single market and customs union while the issues are worked out.

He pledged to do "all we can, in Brussels, in London and in Dublin, to achieve the best outcome for everyone on this island - to protect our peace, our freedom, our rights, and our prosperity".

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