Irish Prime Minister praises Theresa May for 'honouring promise' to avoid hard border with Brexit deal

Leo Varadkar

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Image: Getty

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has praised Theresa May for "honouring her promise" to avoid a hard border in Ireland post-Brexit.

Making a statement in Dublin, Mr Varadkar said he wanted to acknowledge Theresa May's "integrity" in putting measures in place to prevent a hard border forming in Ireland within her draft withdrawal deal.

He said the draft agreement had fully spelt out the "backstop" arrangement that would apply in Ireland if a wider EU-UK trade deal fails to materialise.

 

He added that no international negotiation "gives one side everything it wants" but praised the Prime Minister for remaining "true to her word".

Ms May's draft Brexit deal has come under fire from numerous MPs, despite receiving the backing of the Cabinet following a five-hour meeting last night.

This morning, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and Northern Ireland Minister Shailesh Vara, both resigned over the deal.

 

People have 'underestimated' Theresa May

Theresa May delivers a Brexit statement at Downing Street. Image: Getty

Mr Varadkar, who described the news of the cabinet backing the draft agreement as "one of the better days in politics", said he thought people had underestimated the "mettle and courage" of Theresa May.

"It's impossible for me to predict how the vote in Westminster will go, but I do think people have consistently underestimated the mettle and courage of Prime Minister May, so let's see how she gets on.

"Obviously if it's defeated in Westminster, it's hard to know where we go from there, as others have said it's maybe hard Brexit or no hard Brexit at all, but that's a decision for the UK Parliament to make."