Michael Staines
Michael Staines

17.18 19 Jun 2019


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The Tánaiste has warned that most of the candidates to be the next British Prime Minister are not dealing in reality when it comes to Brexit.

The Conservative Party leadership race has seen some of the candidates pledging to re-negotiate the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, which includes the Irish border backstop – something the EU has categorically ruled out.

The country’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid has even suggested the border issue could be resolved by giving money to Ireland.

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Speaking to Radio Kerry today, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the Withdrawal Agreement will remain the only deal on the table.

“I think unfortunately most of the leadership contestants don’t seem to be dealing in the reality of the negotiations to date in terms of what they are claiming,” he said.

He said the Irish Government needs to stay out of the leadership race, but noted that some of the ideas that have been put forward are completely unworkable.

“These are really complicated issues and to attempt to dumb them down into simplistic solutions when we have the complexity of this problem addressed very comprehensively, by compromise on all sides in a Withdrawal Agreement that has yet to be ratified in the UK, is something that I think all of those contestants should reflect on.”

Leadership race

Conservative Party MPs are taking part in another round of voting today in the race for the leadership of the party.

At least one of the five remaining candidates will be eliminated when the results are announced this evening.

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was eliminated yesterday and former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remains favourite to replace Theresa May.

When only two candidates remain, the general membership of the Conservative party will vote on who should become the next party leader and British prime minister.


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Brexit Conservative Party Coveney Simon Coveney Tanaiste Tories Tory UK Prime Minister

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