Leo Varadkar, the deputy prime minister of Ireland, claims that Boris Johnson is putting the UK at risk by trying to veto the Brexit agreement for Northern Ireland.
The Tánaiste criticized the Prime Minister for not taking a “even-handed” approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol and claimed that Mr. Johnson was supporting Unionists in the conflict.
Later this year, Mr. Varadkar, who will become the Taoiseach of Ireland, said Westminster was making a “strategic mistake” by trying to pass new laws that would unilaterally alter the Protocol.
He proclaimed that if the UK moves forward with its proposed legislation, “more people will turn away from the Union.”
Asserting that Irish-Anglo relations have never been “as bad” as they are now, Mr. Varadkar also criticized Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis for recent remarks.
Dublin, the EU, and London are engaged in a growing verbal battle after this week’s approval by MPs of Mr. Johnson’s plan to undermine key provisions of the Protocol, which cleared its first hurdle in the House of Commons.
Although MPs gave the Government’s Bill a second reading, many senior Tories warned they might later oppose it due to claims that it violates international law.
The legislation that is being considered would establish a “green channel” for goods to Northern Ireland that would not require checks.
Additionally, it would permit state subsidies, ensure that Northern Ireland is subject to Westminster’s changes to the VAT, and give UK ministers broad authority to later modify more of the terms of the Brexit divorce.
However, the EU has re-instituted legal proceedings against the UK for its threats to unilaterally reform the Protocol, and Brussels has also raised the possibility of a damaging trade war should Mr. Johnson carry out his scheme.
Mr. Varadkar contributed to the ongoing outrage from EU capitals about the UK’s actions in an interview with BBC Northern Ireland’s The View program.
He insisted that the PM’s handling of the Protocol row would “not be a threat” to the 27-member bloc.
He described Mr. Johnson’s administration as “a government that has not been fair.”
‘In the past, UK governments have promised that they will treat Northern Ireland fairly; however, I don’t believe that is the case with this government.
‘Their supporting one of the three political blocs that are currently present in Northern Ireland.
“I think that’s a strategic error for people who want to preserve the Union, because if you keep imposing things on Northern Ireland that a clear majority of people there don’t want, more people will turn away from the Union,” said one observer.
It is an odd policy for a government that claims to want to protect the Union.
In his political career, Mr. Varadkar continued, “I’ve never seen relations as terrible” with UK ministers.
He asserted that Ms. Truss and Mr. Lewis’ recent remarks regarding the Protocol were an attempt to “argue a square is a circle.”
Additionally, he asked the UK government to “de-escalate” the Protocol problem. Mr. Johnson and the EU originally agreed to the Protocol in October 2019.
Because it is removing that authority from the Assembly and declaring that British ministers can ignore certain provisions of the Protocol, what the British government is doing right now, according to Mr. Varadkar, is extremely undemocratic and disrespectful to the people of Northern Ireland.
I find that disturbing and difficult to believe. The majority of the population in Northern Ireland opposes the solutions that the British government intends to impose their. This has now happened twice.
If you sign a treaty and are an honourable nation or government, you must uphold its terms and adhere to international law.
They are going about it incorrectly.
It is unusual for a democratic administration of a reputable nation to ratify a treaty before attempting to amend it domestically.