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US Congress won't support UK trade deal that threatens open border, says Varadkar

The Taoiseach had some harsh words for the House of Commons this evening.
Feb 22nd 2019, 10:45 PM 21,050 49

THE US CONGRESS won’t support any trade deal with the UK post-Brexit that undermines the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

As the deadline for the UK to leave the EU approaches, there has been speculation of a UK-US trade deal post-Brexit. 

However, speaking at a Fine Gael event tonight, he said US politicians will not countenance such a deal if it threatens the open border.

In his speech this evening, Varadkar had some harsh words for the House of Commons:

“Westminster might be the mother of all parliaments but it’s not the boss of other parliaments and I know the European Parliament will not vote for a withdrawal agreement that does not do right by Ireland. And I don’t believe the United States Congress will agree to any trade between the US and the UK that would undermine the Good Friday Agreement and the open border between North and South.”

Today, the Irish government published its Brexit omnibus Bill for the scenario of a no-deal Brexit. 

Speaking this morning, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the EU will work to give assurances to the UK parliament about the backstop, Ireland’s insurance policy to avoid a hard border, which is preventing the deal getting the green light from Westminster. 

The Taoiseach also spoke about domestic issues, such as homelessness, stating that the government is making progress.

When it comes to housing we are making progress – lifting thousands of families out of homelessness, rebuilding the housing construction sector, and reforming the rental sector by limiting rent increases and enhancing tenants’ rights.
And while more progress needs to be made, we are now seeing increased supply. This is imperative if we are to solve our housing and homelessness problems.There is more to do, but we are on the right track.

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Christina Finn

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