“The Problem Lies In Westminster”

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This afternoon.

In the Dáil, during Leaders’ Questions.

Following on from MPs in London voting down the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal 432 to 202…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

“This is a problem that began in Westminster, with the referendum on Brexit. We found a solution – the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated over months and months, agreed by 28 governments.

“And now Westminster has rejected that solution. So the problem lies in Westminster. And I welcome the fact the Prime Minister has said that she’s now going to engage with senior politicians from all parties to see if they can come together with a way forward, with a Brexit that commands a majority in the House of Commons.

“But whatever they come up with must be acceptable to us in Ireland the European Union as a whole.”

Watch Dáil proceedings live here

Earlier: Standstill

UPDATE:

17 thoughts on ““The Problem Lies In Westminster”

  1. Eoin

    Did anyone notice this morning the new qualification when the Tanaiste talked about extending the Brexit notice, option (4) of the remaining six below. He said Ireland would not object if Britain asked for an extension to Article 50 *but that such a request would have to be accompanied by a plan that allowed for an orderly Brexit*

    So, you have the UK’s biggest ally in Europe, Ireland, which has the most to lose from a hard Brexit, giving the most luke-warm of receptions to a request from the UK for an extension. If that’s the attitude of the UK’s closest friends, imagine what the UK’s rivals in Europe are thinking!

    If the EU doesn’t agree to a request from the UK to extend (4), then (7) looks like the most feasible outcome (a sudden option (3) would trigger mass civil unrest and worse in the UK).

    (1) Adopt current draft withdrawal agreement (2) attempt renegotiation with EU of current draft withdrawal agreement (3) Cancel Article 50 notice to leave (4) Seek agreement to extend Article 50 notice to leave (5) Hold a second Brexit referendum (6) Call general election (7) No-deal Brexit crash-out

    1. ivan

      Yes but the point is, I think, that by default, UK is barrelling towards (7).

      Art 50 deadline of 29 March can only be extended by agreement and will, presumably, only be granted by EU27 for something akin to a ‘good reason’. In other words if HMG approach Eu27 and say ‘can we have an extension?’ and there’s no reason given, the EU27 (or some parts) might well ask ‘why’?

      If the reason for seeking the extension is ‘well, we’ve been making almighty fupping mess and we’d like to get our act together’ then that might be fine.

      If the reason for seeking the extension is ‘we quite like the idea of continuing to make a fupping mess and see where we are in 9 months time’ then the answer might well be ‘cop on there, lads…’

      Seeking a plan to ensure an orderly Brexit isn’t that unreasonable.

    2. George

      The UK needs to get real and start bringing something to the table. Article 50 can’t just be extended to allow for more of the same.

    3. Eoin

      Now that Theresa May’s govt has survived the vote of no confidence, it looks like the option of a second election is taken off the table (technically, a general election could be called by 4 February and concluded before 29 March). The leader of Germany’s influential chamber of commerce said today, in response to the possibility of a request for an extension, that it’s better to have a horrible ending (hard brexit (7)) than an unending horror (an extension); you wouldn’t bet the farm that the UK will get an extension even if they asked for it.

      (1) Adopt current draft withdrawal agreement (2) attempt renegotiation with EU of current draft withdrawal agreement (3) Cancel Article 50 notice to leave (4) Seek agreement to extend Article 50 notice to leave (5) Hold a second Brexit referendum (6) Call general election (7) No-deal Brexit crash-out

  2. Eoin

    The PTB in the UK are angling for a second vote. It’s probably been the plan since day one. Ramp up the fear and tedium over Brexit and get a second vote. I hope, if they do that, that people vote for Brexit once more. Otherwise I hope for a No Deal Brexit. UK will come out of it smelling of roses (after some initial teething) and the EU will be shown up for the corrupt, inept joke that it is. Ireland will go from net EU contributor to passing around the begging bowl until we are forced to Irexit. No doubt our shower will mismanage that and condemn us to a new dark age. The EU is coming apart whether we like it or not. Better to head for the exit sooner rather than later. We can also then drop our odious debt to German banks which currently runs at 46.7% of our net tax takings.

    1. Cian

      “We can also then drop our odious debt to German banks which currently runs at 46.7% of our net tax takings.”
      hahahahahaha
      This one sentence is total and complete rubbish.

  3. Giggidygoo

    Vacron seems almost oblivious to the fact that the knock on will be a problem for Ireland. The usual ‘It was that lot’ attempt to hide.

    The subject of a backstop has been discussed ad nauseum. The fact is, that until the WA is put into place in the format the EU and UK discussed (May hadn’t the authority to agree anything, hence the clusterpoo now), the backstop does not exist.

    Our MSM media are attempting to relieve Vacron of insisting on a backstop. Just watch the ducking and diving over the next few weeks as Liedown Leo toes the dilution line.

  4. Gabby

    ‘The problem is in Westminster.’ That is the Taoiseach’s Standpunkt following the Westminster rejection of the proposed Brexit agreement by an amazing margin of 230 votes. Westminster + the great English public are a compound problem. But let us not overlook the fact that public perceptions of national sovereignty being curtailed by Brussels and perceptions of opaqueness of the EU institutions have built up among the English for the past 40 years. Don’t think that similar public perceptions cannot build up in the coming years among the Irish.

    1. Cian

      The problem is that nobody can agree what “Brexit” means. There seem to be 17 million different versions.
      Westmisister can’t deliver a single Brexit that will match what the 17 million people voted for.

      This is a totally crazy situation. The UK government need to go back to the people and discover what it is, exactly, that they want (and don’t want). I don’t mean another referendum – I mean they need to work out what it means. Then compile all the different versions of Brexit into a small-ish number of well-defined Brexits. Once that is done, they can have another referendum and get people to vote on their preferred choice.

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