Politics

Varakdar pays the price: Ireland to suffer due to Brexit arrogance – ‘Misguided!’

Theresa May and Leo Varadkar discuss Brexit ‘solution’ in 2017

And Ray Bassett said while there was relief, there was also despondency – warning the EU “will never be the same” for his country after the UK’s departure. Mr Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, took to Twitter afterwards to hail the announcement as “great news”, adding that it was “time for Remainers to put their disappointments aside”.

He subsequently told Express.co.uk: “There is a huge sense of relief in Dublin at the Brexit deal.

“A no deal Brexit would have adversely affected Ireland even more than the UK.”

A no-deal outcome would likely have knocked six percent off of Ireland’s GDP, Mr Bassett said.

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He added: “In reality Ireland was desperate for an EU/UK deal.

“In many respects, the deal saved Ireland from the consequences of its own hardline anti-Brexit position of the last few years, something which made a no deal more likely.”

Led by Mr Varadkar, the Irish Government had steadfastly opposed former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to secure a new relationship with Brussels.

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There needs to be a serious post mortem in Dublin on their misguided approach

Ray Bassett

Mr Varadkar has also championed the Backstop arrangements for the Irish border which helped doom Theresa May’s Premiership, something which “in retrospect looks very counterproductive”, Mr Bassett suggested.

He said: “There needs to be a serious post mortem in Dublin on their misguided approach.

“The ending of the Brexit saga will also allow the Taoiseach Micheal Martin to reset relations with London after the turmoil of the Brexit period.

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“He has been noticeably less strident in his public utterances than his predecessor Leo Varadkar.

“To counter possible criticism of his administration failures, Leo is trying to claim credit for the maintenance of an open border on the island of Ireland post Brexit.

“In reality, the UK had as much at stake in maintaining the status quo as Dublin.”

While acknowledging the widespread relief, Mr Bassett said the mood in Dublin was nevertheless sombre.

He continued: “The policy of trying to thwart Brexit in a strong alliance with Remainers in London has failed.

“Even with a deal, Ireland, as an offshore island behind Britain, will be geographically isolated from mainland EU.

“The EU will never be the same again for Ireland. The pro-EU elite will no longer be able to rely on anti-English sentiment to bolster support for the EU. Anti-Eu parties are likely to gain more support.”

With specific reference to one issue which has dominated the headlines, he said: “The phased withdrawal of the EU fishing fleet from British waters is focusing attention on the meagre allocation which the country gets in its own waters.

“Unless there is a rebalancing in quotas, and Irish fishermen are allowed to catch more of their own fish, there will be serious consequences for the local seafood industry.

“There are also serious worries in the Irish beef sector at possible competition from low-cost non-EU producers.

To counter possible criticism of his administration failures, former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is trying to claim credit for the maintenance of an open border on the island of Ireland post Brexit. In reality, the UK had as much at stake in maintaining the status quo as Dublin.

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