Brendan Howlin states the three demands Ireland should have in relation to Brexit

Brendan Howlin states the three demands Ireland should have in relation to Brexit

Update; 5.50pm Brendan Howlin has told the Dáil that Ireland has three demands in relation to Brexit:

  • Certainty that we will retain an open border with Northern Ireland
  • Guarantees for the rights of all Irish citizens in the UK
  • And a close East-West trading relationship between Ireland and Britain

Meanwhile, Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness has criticised the Labour leader for comments he made this morning.

Mr Howlin claimed a number of European member states are considering trying to kick the issue of the Irish border down the road.

“There are no grounds for what Mr Howlin asserted - that suggestions are being made that the Irish backstop issue should be postponed.

"The European Parliament has stressed that it will not give its consent to a withdrawal agreement that does not contain a workable, legally operational and all-weather backstop.

The Brexit talks are at a highly intensive and sensitive stage and those who are engaged in the talks need the support of all responsible politicians who have Ireland’s and Europe’s best interests at heart.

“Mr Howlin has been evasive about the source of the comments he claims to be hearing.

“This is not a time for attempting to gain political capital by attacking the Irish Government position and I would strongly urge Mr Howlin to either back up the statement he made this morning or withdraw it,” she said.

Ealier: Labour leader claims other EU states are thinking of postponing border issue in Brexit talks

The Labour leader Brendan Howlin has claimed a number of European member states are considering trying to kick the issue of the Irish border down the road.

It is the key stumbling block that is preventing Brexit talks between the EU and the UK from progressing.

President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said it would be a catastrophe if there was no deal on Brexit.

Brexit talks are stalled until tomorrow's EU Council meeting.

The proposed backstop, the deal that would prevent a hard border with Northern Ireland if no new trade arrangement can be reached, is proving contentious.

Mr Howlin has said he is now hearing reports other European countries want to kick to down the road.

He said: "I now hear for the first time that there are actually suggestions being made that the Irish backstop issue should be postponed.

"I think that is very dangerous for us and I think it's something we have to resist."

Fianna Fáil's Brexit spokesperson, Lisa Chambers, has said there are lots of rumours flying around when it comes to Northern Ireland, but she maintained the backstop has to be dealt with at this stage of the talks.

Ms Chambers said: "It is my view, and the view of the Fianna Fáil party, that if we allow that issue to get kicked down the road, we could find ourselves in a very lonely situation

Tánaiste Simon Coveney is due to meet the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg before the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar travels to Brussels tomorrow for the EU Council's Brexit summit.

Digital Desk

More on this topic

ITV leaders’ debate will exclude views of Remain voters, High Court hearsITV leaders’ debate will exclude views of Remain voters, High Court hears

Boris Johnson pledges tax breaks to businessesBoris Johnson pledges tax breaks to businesses

Boris Johnson says his Brexit deal has backing of ‘all Tory election candidates’Boris Johnson says his Brexit deal has backing of ‘all Tory election candidates’

Brexit Secretary ‘dismayed’ by European Council president Donald TuskBrexit Secretary ‘dismayed’ by European Council president Donald Tusk