Simon Coveney slams UK newspaper report on Brexit as "nonsense"

The Foreign Affairs Minister said the border is "too important an issue to be spinning inaccuracies"


Simon Coveney. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/

12:26 11 Nov 2017 Stephen McNeice 12:26 Saturday 11 November 2017

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has rubbished a British media report which claims that the Government is only now starting to fight against a hard border in Ireland.

It comes after The Sun claimed that the Irish Government's stance has hardened because of pressure from Sinn Féin.

The article claims: "[Gerry Adams'] Republican party are set to make big gains in new elections to the Dáil, which could [come] soon if Mr Varadkar’s weak Fine Gael government collapses."

Simon Coveney, who is at the Fine Gael National Conference in Cavan, has taken to Twitter to slam the article - saying the report is "nonsense".

Speaking about the border at the Fine Gael conference, Minister Coveney explained: "We have a responsibility to come up with the unique & flexible solutions to find a pragmatic, sensible and fair way forward."

He said that the solution has to respect the "democratic decision of the British people", as well as Irish interests.

He added: "As the Taoiseach said last night, on this island we are in the business of building bridges, not borders."

In his keynote speech last night, Mr Varadkar stated: "There can be no return to the border on our island. In my conversations with European presidents and prime ministers, I have received considerable support for the challenges we face.

"I want to reassure all border communities that we are listening to you, we hear your concerns, and we promise you that we will safeguard your rights, and all that we have achieved."  

Earlier this week, an EU Commission position paper warned that Northern Ireland must remain in the single market if a hard border is to be avoided in Ireland.

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