Theresa May’s speech did not go far enough, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said UK prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech did not go far enough to allow talks with the EU to progress next month.

British prime minister Theresa May delivering a speech in Florence, which set out her plans for a transitional Brexit period.

After Mrs May proposed a two-year transition period for the UK after it quits the EU in a speech in Florence, Mr Varadkar said he gave her comments a “guarded welcome”.

“I don’t think it is a game- changer,” he said. “I give it a guarded welcome. I don’t think it is enough to say to allow us to move on to the next phase of negotiations, we will need more clarity and more progress.”

Mrs May delivered her speech in Florence where she outlined the Brexit process and the future relationship between the EU and the UK. The Taoiseach, who spoke to Mrs May yesterday morning, welcomed that she had referenced the common travel area, the Northern Ireland peace process and that both sides in the negotiations do not want any physical structures at the border.

“I think it is a genuine effort by the prime minister to move things along,” he said. “We will, of course, need further clarity and further understanding as to how a transition period might work.”

However, he welcomed her proposal for a transitional period as a step in the right direction. Both leaders will meet for talks on Monday in London.

Sinn Féin’s Brexit spokesman David Cullinane said: “Theresa May’s Brexit speech was high on rhetoric, but short on detail.

“It does not deal with all of the key issues which impact on Ireland. It has not dealt with the issue of the potential of a border, it has not dealt with how the Good Friday Agreement will be protected and the rights of citizens in the North.”

Related Articles

Emmanuel Macron: UK and France 'making a new tapestry together' on defence and migrant crisis

WTO status for Irish goods ‘feasible’ for Brexit

Britain is still out of favour

This time Irish farmers might need an EU special deal

More in this Section

Leo Varadkar under pressure to reveal view as Micheál Martin backs repeal of law on abortion

Roma living in rat-infested conditions and going to bed hungry

240 homeowners in Co Clare told pay €2.25m for defects

Cork City Council 'treating us like dogs' say homeless Travellers

Breaking Stories

Police appeal for witnesses following shooting in Belfast

Latest: Man (27) killed in shooting in West Dublin

Varadkar ’absolutely certain’ it was correct decision to give Shannon airport independence

Winner of €500,000 Euromillions prize probably a local, says store owner


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner