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Ireland’s deputy premier warned relations have never been as bad with UK government ministers, saying Britain has “not being even handed” when it comes to the hated Brexit deal. MPs voted earlier this week to give the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill a second reading. The legislation is designed to override parts of the post-Brexit deal to allay concerns over its impact on the UK. But Mr Varadkar said the UK’s bid to unilaterally change the protocol was a “strategic mistake”. And he warned the EU would “not be threatened” by the UK’s approach to the ongoing stand-off in a wide ranging interview with BBC Northern Ireland’s The View programme. FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES
Northern Ireland Protocol is ‘strategic mistake’
Ireland’s Leo Varadkar said the UK’s bid to unilaterally change the protocol was a “strategic mistake”.
He said: “The British government had given commitments in the past that it would be even handed in its approach to Northern Ireland,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s the case when it comes to this government, they’re siding with one of the three blocs of opinion that now exist in Northern Ireland.
“And I think that’s a strategic mistake for people who want to preserve the union – to continue to impose things that a clear majority of people don’t want means more people will turn away from the union.
“It’s a peculiar policy coming from a government that purports to want to defend the union.”
Good morning, I’m Rebecca Perring. I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Brexit. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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