Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that the removal of the border backstop without any proper replacement would mean a no-deal Brexit for the United Kingdom. “All it does is kick the can down the road for another 14 months. If there is No Deal, I believe that’s possible, it will cause severe disruption for British and Irish people alike. We will have to get back to the negotiating table. When we do, the first and only items on the agenda will be citizens rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border. All the issues we had resolved in the Withdrawal Agreement we made with your predecessor. An Agreement made in good faith by 28 governments”, Taoiseach said at the meeting on the 9th of September.
This is just to name few of the ideas reiterated in the press declaration shortly after Boris Johnson, British counterpart, arrived at the Government building. Taoiseach warned even if a deal was agreed, setting the line for a future free trade agreement would be a “Herculean” task for Johnson. “We do want to be your friend and your ally, your ‘Athena’ in doing so. And I think the manner in which you leave the European Union will determine whether that’s possible. I am ready to listen to constructive ways to achieve our agreed goals and resolve the current impasse,” he said while an impatient Boris Johnson was waiting his line and finding his words.
Wondering why did the Taoiseach mention a Greek goddess and not an Irish reference, just as the local media understood? Athena was considered a warrior goddess and Johnson – an Etonian who excelled at Classics while in university – would understand the reference. As a journalist that worked in television in Eastern Europe and dealt with various encounters between EU PM’s and also with European affairs I can only say that Taoiseach’s speech was brilliantly written. Just to the point as the country: not going to be sometime soon bent over and will keep its head up in the EU.
Also to note the social media presence is up to the point as people can be also on the loop with what happens in the Government building, around Merrion Square.
In the meantime other officials in the EU notice the importance of the open border, as director for EU Institutional Affairs, Brexit and EU Coordination at Federal Foreign Office in Germany that attaches this on his official Twitter account some days ago:
While shortly after leaving Dublin, British PM did no receive an welcoming encounter on the island as the UK Parliament voted with a 311 majority for the Government to release documents and correspondence about the no-deal Brexit scenario.