Tag Archives: Brexit

Does this make us Camden?


From top Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar with Michelle Hennessy (left) and Roseanne RooBeek from Reuters and being interviewed by Axel Threfall on Reuters media about Ireland’s economy and our global presence at Davos, Switzerland.

This morning.

World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland

Mr Varadkar said he hoped that the ultimate [UK/EU] free trade arrangement could resemble “Norway Plus”, but that it would have to be a “specific” agreement.

The kind of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) envisaged has generally been regarded as following a spectrum between the EU-Canada agreement, which reduces tariffs but has little by way of services, and the EU-Norway arrangement, where Norway has virtually full access to the Single Market, but has to abide by all EU rules and pay into the EU budget.

However, speaking on Bloomberg TV during his first full day at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort, Mr Varadkar said that neither Norway nor Canada were appropriate models.

‘Norway plus’ model for UK may be possible, Taoiseach says (Tony Connelly, RTÉ)

Choice imprints from the ongoing submission gallery at #brexitstamps in the wake of MP Andrea Leadsom’s call for the Royal Mail to issue a postage stamp commemorating Brexit.


As EU leaders agree to move on to Phase 2 of Brexit talks…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee hold a press conference (above)…

How is that going?

EU leaders agree to move to second-stage Brexit talks – Politics Live (The Guardian)

British prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker this morning

This morning.

Brussels, Belgium.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he believes the breakthrough needed has been made, and is sure the EU27 will open Phase 2 of Brexit talks.

Speaking at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Brussels, Mr Juncker said the Uk has made significant commitments on avoiding a hard border between Ireland and the UK.

But he warned there is still a lot of work to be done.

The Commission president said: “I will always be sad about this development, but now we must start looking to the future, a future in which the UK will remain a close friend and ally.”

Mrs May said the deal agreed today is a significant improvement from Monday and the joint report is in the best interests of the whole of the UK.

She said that “we guarantee there will be no hard border in Ireland” and “we will uphold the Belfast Agreement”.

May and Juncker agree to Brexit deal (RTÉ)


More as we get it.


From left: Helen McEntee, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney

Government Buildings.

“Today is a very significant day for Ireland and the EU. After long & intensive negotiations we have reached a satisfactory conclusion on the Irish issues including the border…

…We have achieved all we set out to achieve in Phase 1. This is not the end but it is the end of the beginning. The Good Friday Agreement is fully protected & the Common Travel Area will continue. The UK is committed to avoiding a hard border.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, this morning.



In the past hour.

In the House of Commons in London.

Further to the Brexit deal-no-deal from the other day

Britain’s Prime Minister and Tory leader Theresa May was questioned by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn about the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

They had this exchange:

Jeremy Corbyn:The Prime Minister was unable to support her Brexit secretary when he tried to explain that a deal was supposed to be done in October but still hasn’t been done in December. The leader of the DUP [Arlene Foster] told Irish television she only got sight of the deal on Monday morning, five weeks after she first asked for it, two months after the original deadline for the first phase of talks and after Monday’s shambles. Is the Prime Minister now able to end the confusion and clearly outline what the Government’s position is now with regard to the Irish border?

Theresa May: “I’m very happy to outline the position that I’ve taken on the Irish border with Northern Ireland. It’s exactly the same position that I took in the Lancaster House speech, that I took in the Florence speech, that we have taken consistently in the negotiations which is that we will ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”

“We will do that while we respect the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom and while we respect the internal market and protect the internal market of the United Kingdom.

“And to those Labour members who shout ‘how?’, that’s the whole point of the second phase of the negotiations when we, because we will deliver, we aim to deliver this as part of our overall trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union and we can only talk about that when we get into phase two. We have a plan, he [Corbyn] has none.”


May reconfirmed what the UK’s Brexit secretary David Davis told the UK’s Exiting the European Union Committee earlier this morning that there have been no sector-by-sector assessments carried out in relation to the impact of Brexit.

May: “The House requested, as I understand it, 58 sectoral impact assessments. There were no 58 sectoral impact assessments. There was sectoral analysis. Over 800 pages of sectoral analysis has been published and made available to the select committee and arrangements have been made available for members of this House to see it.

We are very clear that we will not give a running commentary on negotiations. But what we will do, what we will do, is work for what this country wants. We will ensure we will leave the European Union in March 2019. We will leave the internal market, we will leave the customs union at the same time and we will ensure there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when we do it.”

Corbyn: “Mr Speaker, this really is a shambles. All they’ve done, all they’ve done is offer a heavily redacted, abbreviated version that has not been widely shared. And the Brexit secretary said in September, Mr Speaker, that €50billion divorce payment was complete nonsense. The Foreign Secretary rejected any payment and said the EU could go whistle.

“So can the Prime Minister put before the House a fully itemised account that could be independently audited by the Office of Budget Responsibility and the National Audit Office on any proposed payment?”

May: “Because we haven’t actually, we’re at the point of progressing on to the next stage, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So the final settlement won’t be agreed until we’ve actually got the whole of the deal agreed.

“But I have to say to the right honourable gentlemen, he asked me questions earlier about hard borders. You know, half the Labour Party wants stay in the single market, half of Labour Party wants to leave the single market, the only hard border is right down the middle of the Labour Party.”

Corbyn: “Mr Speaker, eighteen months since the referendum, no answers to the questions. Today they haven’t yet concluded phase one. No answers to the questions and the DUP appear to be ruling the roost and telling her what to do. Mr Speaker, whether it’s Brexit, the National Health Service, social care, our rip-off railways, rising child poverty, growing pensioner poverty, or universal credit, this government, this government is unable to solve important issues facing this country. In fact, it’s making them worse. The economy is slowing, more people are in poverty, Brexit negotiations in a shambles. This government is clearly not fit for the future. If they can’t negotiate a good deal, wouldn’t it be better if they just got out of the way.”

Previously:  ‘I Suspect It Will Look Very Like What It Looks Like Today’

Ah here.

Hopeless Surfer writes:

Theresa May has installed the DUP Word Wizard to help avoid another day of shambolic Irish border announcements…

Last night: No Break For The Border

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tanáiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs this evening

This evening.

Government buildings.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is ‘surprised and disappointment’ with British government over failure to reach agreement in Brexit talks.


British Prime Minister Theresa May and President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker this afternoon

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said that Northern Ireland must leave the EU on the same terms as the rest of the UK, and added that the DUP will not accept any regulatory divergence.

She said the Government is seeking to “unilaterally change the Belfast Agreement without our consent”.

Ms Foster added that “the economic and constitutional integrity of the UK must not be compromised in any way.”

No deal reached in Brexit talks between May and Juncker (RTÉ)

Earlier: ‘I Suspect It Will Look Very Like What It Looks Like Today’

Belgian MEP Phillippe Lamberts has told Sky News the UK Government has agreed to a “Special Situation For Ireland”

This morning/afternoon

According to two well-placed sources, the text that negotiators have been working on intensively over the past five days, spell out that the UK will agree that on either side of the border there would be no divergence on EU single market and customs union rules after Brexit.

This has long been the Irish Government’s preferred solution for avoiding a hard border.

The text says that the UK has agreed that the Good Friday Agreement will be protected.

All better

UK to make Brexit concessions over NI (RTÉ)

Britain Concedes (The Guardian)

RollingNews/Sky News



Thanks Tom