Brexit: Simon Coveney says Ireland must hold its nerve


Simon CoveneyPicture copyright

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Simon Coveney has urged assist for the UK authorities’s plan in Parliament this week, when a vital vote takes place

The Republic of Eire should “maintain its nerve” this week as Parliament prepares to vote on Theresa Could’s Brexit deal, Simon Coveney has mentioned.

The Irish overseas minister was talking as UK-EU letters detailing extra assurances on the Irish border backstop had been revealed.

MPs will vote on the withdrawal settlement on Tuesday night after two days of ultimate debate.

However the DUP has mentioned the letters don’t go far sufficient for it to again the deal.

What do the letters say?

The letter from Prime Minister Theresa Could to the EU asks for readability that within the occasion the UK and EU have negotiated however not but ratified a commerce deal, then the backstop wouldn’t be the “default” place and that each one efforts could be made to keep away from it.

The backstop, a mechanism that’s included within the withdrawal settlement, is an insurance coverage coverage designed to keep away from a tough Irish border “except and till” one other answer is discovered as a part of the UK-EU future relationship.

The response from EU chief Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker states that the backstop isn’t the EU’s most well-liked answer to avoiding a tough border.

The letter additionally says that the backstop doesn’t undermine the Good Friday Settlement, or “annex” Northern Eire.

It additionally guarantees to contemplate other ways of stopping the necessity for bodily checks on the border between Northern Eire and the Republic of Eire, comparable to “facilitative preparations or applied sciences”.

It clarifies a lot of what has already been signed as much as within the withdrawal settlement however the EU leaders say they’re “not ready to agree something that modifications” the legally binding withdrawal settlement, which was accredited by the opposite EU27 leaders final yr.

What has the Irish authorities mentioned?

Talking to Irish nationwide broadcaster RTÉ, Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney mentioned the federal government wanted to “tread rigorously”.

He hoped the letter from the EU would offer reassurance and readability to MPs in Parliament as they put together for Tuesday’s Commons vote.

“Individuals should not really feel threatened by it (the backstop), some folks have painted the backstop into one thing that it is not,” he mentioned.

“This week goes to be a extremely vital few days. It is a time the place Eire has to carry its nerve. We’re most impacted by Brexit of all of the EU states.

“We have to keep near the British authorities and EU companions – however should not reply in knee-jerked or any panicked approach.”

He mentioned the Irish authorities had been working for months on no-deal Brexit contingency planning, and would flow into 4 detailed memos at Cupboard on Tuesday, constructing on a beforehand launched doc.

Mr Coveney additionally mentioned he agreed with Mrs Could that “now isn’t the time to give attention to plan B”.

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Nigel Dodds is the deputy chief of the Democratic Unionist Celebration

Have the letters reassured the DUP?

In no way.

The DUP has been saying for weeks that its 10 MPs will vote in opposition to the deal due to their opposition to the backstop, which might see further checks for some items coming into Northern Eire from Nice Britain, if it took impact.

The celebration believes any measure that might result in variations between one a part of the UK and the remaining might threaten the integrity of the union.

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Talking on the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme earlier than the letters had been revealed on Monday, the DUP’s Westminster chief Nigel Dodds dismissed them as meaningless.

“When the prime minister delayed the vote in December, she mentioned she was going to get legally binding reassurances,” he mentioned.

“A letter actually is not legally binding.

“It is one other instance that the EU isn’t ready to do what’s required, even to take step one if it desires to get a deal within the Home of Commons.”

DUP chief Arlene Foster additionally renewed her assault on the backstop on Monday.

She mentioned it “essentially undermines Northern Eire’s place within the UK” and “runs roughshod” over the precept of consent contained within the Good Friday Settlement.

Evaluation: DUP not budging on backstop

By Jayne McCormack, BBC Information NI Political Reporter

It is a last-minute letter for Theresa Could to wave at her critics – however the celebration most vocally in opposition to the backstop isn’t budging.

A DUP supply informed me: “Unionists are far too lengthy within the tooth to fall for written assurances.”

With no binding pledge from all the EU27 that the backstop could be momentary, the DUP’s view is that this letter has no impact on its voting intention.

It nonetheless desires to see the withdrawal settlement reopened and the backstop binned, or its phrases modified.

Each these items look unlikely.

The DUP’s downside with the backstop, as set out by Nigel Dodds on morning radio, is three small – however necessary – phrases within the legally binding withdrawal settlement: “Except and till”.

Whereas the backstop has its supporters – the Irish authorities, in addition to different political events in NI and enterprise and farming teams – the size of the opposition to it in Parliament at this late stage is more likely to show the downfall of Mrs Could’s deal this week.

What occurs on Tuesday?

It’s anticipated that about 100 Conservative MPs will be part of Labour and different opposition events in voting in opposition to the deal on Tuesday night time.

Theresa Could has urged MPs to get behind her plan and has warned that not voting for it might imply not leaving the EU turns into a chance.

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Dr Andrew Murrison chairs the Northern Eire Affairs Committee at Westminster

The chair of Westminster’s Northern Eire Affairs Committee, Conservative MP Andrew Murrison, mentioned that though he voted to go away the EU in 2016 he would again the plan.

He has tabled an modification to the deal to create a “sundown clause”, stopping the backstop extending past the tip of 2021.

“It is crucial for my part that we perceive the backstop isn’t wanted to make sure the absence of a tough border in Northern Eire,” he mentioned.

Whereas the DUP is more likely to vote in opposition to the deal, it is going to nearly actually again the prime minister if a no confidence movement is introduced in opposition to her in Parliament.

Labour Celebration chief Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to desk such a movement if the deal is defeated on Tuesday.


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