DUP's Donaldson claims Varadkar broke protocol with Northern Ireland visit

01 May, 2018, 12:49 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • Tánaiste 'Substantial progress' on Brexit border issue is needed by June summit

Another week, another bromance, this time between Michel Barnier, the EU's Brexit negotiator, and the Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar.

"I don't think he does understand the wider unionist culture of Northern Ireland", Foster said.

The government said it was disappointed.

He said: "The normal protocol for a visiting prime minister is to seek permission to visit a part of the UK".

"This includes informing public representatives in the areas to be visited".

"Our agenda is fully transparent - it is respect for the primacy of the Good Friday Agreement and everything it represents for the people of these islands".

Sir Jeffrey said: "Leo Varadkar's visit is another demonstration of the poor manners and disrespect which appears to be the Irish government's Brexit strategy".

Mr Donaldson said no local representatives had been informed.

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Barnier said the European Union was "absolutely united" on the Irish question but wants to work with the U.K.to find a practical solution. "Their preferred approach is to use Brexit in whatever way possible to undermine Northern Ireland and particularly its constitutional position".

Monday marks the start of Michel Barnier's two-day visit to Ireland, which comes amid rising tensions over the future UK-Ireland border. "I just want to be a good neighbour and I received a very warm welcome in Northern Ireland", he said. "So the protocol is to contact the Northern Ireland Office".

Mr Barnier cautioned about the "real risk" that this outcome is to be expected: "We have to be prepared for all options including no deal".

Mr Barnier said: "We have no intention of questioning the UK's constitutional order. We have red lines, so does the European Union, but nobody seems to focus on that", said Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney.

"We are seeking practical, practical and operational, solutions to a complex problem".

In addition to serving the markets in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, the Port deals with imports and exports from countries and regions across the world including to Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Ukraine and the Americas.

Normally the visit of a foreign prime minister to the United Kingdom would follow established official protocols.

"Michel Barnier's trying to present himself as someone who cares deeply about Northern Ireland, and if that is the case he needs to hear the fact that we are part of the United Kingdom (and) will remain part of the United Kingdom constitutionally, politically, and economically", Foster told the BBC.

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