Brexit agreement should not be changed: Ireland’s deputy PM

- Advertisement -

Ireland’s deputy premier has said the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation.

Simon Coveney said it should no longer be considered a draft and that instead it should be seen as the only agreement.

Mr Coveney told parliament in Dublin that it was “not going to be re-opened”.

“This is a text that has been agreed between the negotiations teams, it has been agreed by the British government. So to that extent, it is not a draft text, it now the text, and it is not going to be reopened,” he said.

“It’s sensitive, it’s difficult. It’s a compromise on both sides, by the UK and the EU, trying to accommodate each other’s concerns. It’s a balanced text that I believe is good for the United Kingdom as a whole and protects against core Irish concerns.”

Mr Coveney added that the only document that would be changing was the political declaration around the future relationship.

It is expected to be a 20-page document when the wording is finalised in the coming days.

Theresa May is scheduled to travel to Brussels on Wednesday to meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker ahead of a special EU Brexit summit on Sunday.

Mr Coveney said he expected the final wording of the declaration on the future relationship would be one of the topics discussed in the meeting.

The Tanaiste warned parliamentarians that there was still a long process ahead.

He said even if the withdrawal agreement was supported by EU leaders on Sunday and subsequently supported in the House of Commons, negotiators still had the future relationship to negotiate and it could take at least two or three years to complete.

“This is a process where Ireland will continue to have to be vigilant to mitigate against unintended consequences of the fallout of Brexit,” he said.

Mr Coveney told the Dail he believed that a lot of people had been “far too quick” to jump to conclusions and assume the worst that the agreement will not be passed in the UK parliament.

“We should spend the next few weeks explaining to people and reassuring people as to what is in the deal,” he said.

“It is a good deal in Ireland and it is a good deal for the UK and it’s a good deal for the EU.”

He added: “Instead of focusing on contingency after a failed vote in the House of Commons, I think we should be talking about how we talk this up to maximise the chances of it getting support in the House of Commons, which is what the Prime Minister is doing.”

Mr Coveney was responding to questions from Fianna Fail’s Brexit spokeswoman Lisa Chambers.

She said the Government had accused the party in the past of playing politics with Brexit, but she said they had put on the “green jersey” and been advocating for the least damaging outcome possible for the island of Ireland.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.