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Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers
Ireland-UK relations

Fianna Fáil senator says UK needs change of government, slams Rishi Sunak remarks in Belfast

During the visit, Sunak said that he has “always had a constructive relationship with the Irish government”.

A FIANNA FÁIL senator has slammed comments made by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Belfast about his relationship with the Irish government.

On the campaign trail ahead of a general election on 4 July, Sunak visited Belfast yesterday morning in a bid to attract votes for the Conservative Party, which is significantly below Labour in polling.

During the visit, Sunak said that he has “always had a constructive relationship with the Irish government”, adding: “They will always be a close friend and partner of ours.”

There have been several tense moments between leaders in Ireland and the UK in recent years over post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland, controversial Troubles legacy legislation, and most recently over migration flows. 

Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers has criticised the comments made by Sunak during the election campaign visit to Belfast.

In a statement, she called his assertion of a “constructive relationship” with Ireland “completely out of touch with reality”.

She also took aim at the UK government’s Rwanda policy, which she called disastrous and said would damage the relationship between the UK and Ireland, and at the negative impact of Sunak’s policies on the principle of open borders achieved under the Good Friday Agreement.

“Quite clearly, Prime Minister Sunak and the Conservative Party are scrambling for achievements to present to the British people given their disastrous polling ahead of the UK General Election,” she said.

The mismanagement of the Brexit process by the Conservative government has been disastrous for the UK economy and their Rwanda policy has equally been disastrous for their relationship with the Irish Government.

“It is clear that there is a need for change in government in the UK,” Chambers said.

“The Rwanda policy is a prime example of the disastrous populist policies pursued by the Conservative Party, which not only fail to provide real solutions to the UK’s migration issues but also undermine the strong bond between the UK and Ireland.”

Sunak announced the 4 July election date this week to the surprise of some in political circles who expected the date to come later in the year.

The UK Conservative Party is facing a lagging poll position and an exodus of MPs ahead of the ballot.

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