Tánaiste: British MPs must choose between Brexit plan or 'chaos'

Tánaiste: British MPs must choose between Brexit plan or 'chaos'

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has told rebellious British MPs to choose between the Brexit deal or chaos "which potentially triggers a series of events that unravels the whole Brexit project itself".

Mr Coveney threw down the gauntlet to hard-line Brexiteers and the DUP tonight as he insisted it "would be very foolish to move away" from a long-drawn out negotiated deal which has found "a way to solve this problem".

Speaking to reporters on the first evening of Fine Gael's two day árd fhéis at the City West Hotel in Dublin, Mr Coveney accepted there has been a clear British backlash to the deal which threatens to tear it apart.

However, despite concerns over the agreement's future, the Tánaiste said the deal is the only option that will be put on the table - saying MPs must choose between the existing plan or "chaos".

The idea people could simply reject that deal now and replace it is not very realistic. Being blunt... this is what Brexit looks like.

"This is the best way to mitigate against the dangers and damage. People will have a choice to make, it's either this deal or a chaotic no deal Brexit which potentially triggers a series of events that unravels the whole Brexit project itself," he said.

Mr Coveney separately said despite British suggestions the deal could still be re-negotiated, the reality is the deal "is done and it's closed, and I don't see it re-opening again".

Answering a direct question on Brexiteer calls to return to the talks table, the Tánaiste said: "I do not believe there is a better deal on offer, and I do not believe this deal in terms of the withdrawal treaty is going to be re-opened."

Despite the hard-line Brexiteer anger, Mr Coveney said it "would be very foolish to move away" from a deal that has seemingly found "a way to solve this problem" of the Northern Ireland border and a UK-wide customs union.

And, in a clear message of support for British prime minister Theresa May, he echoed comments from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar by saying Ms May should not be written off.

"I think far too many people are far too quick to write off Theresa May. She has shown resilience, she has shown herself to be a woman of her word in the commitments she made to Ireland, in understanding the complexities, in the commitments she made in December and March.

"I think Theresa May is now providing a reality check to Westminster," he said.

More on this topic

Fine Gael bid to avoid repeating Maria Bailey or Verona Murphy controversy with candidate pledgeFine Gael bid to avoid repeating Maria Bailey or Verona Murphy controversy with candidate pledge

FG senator Maura Hopkins stands down from General Election ticketFG senator Maura Hopkins stands down from General Election ticket

'I am job hunting' - Outgoing FG Minister Jim Daly focussing on next career move'I am job hunting' - Outgoing FG Minister Jim Daly focussing on next career move

Dara Murphy breaks silence on criticism from Fine Gael over expensesDara Murphy breaks silence on criticism from Fine Gael over expenses


More in this Section

Gardaí talk to three people as investigation into Cork father set on fire continuesGardaí talk to three people as investigation into Cork father set on fire continues

Garda tells inquest he shot Mark Hennessy as he believed he was about to slit Jastine Valdez's throatGarda tells inquest he shot Mark Hennessy as he believed he was about to slit Jastine Valdez's throat

Michael McGrath: Fianna Fáil not kicking pension decisions down the roadMichael McGrath: Fianna Fáil not kicking pension decisions down the road

Cork-based cybersecurity firm warn of 300% increase in cyber attacks from Iran Cork-based cybersecurity firm warn of 300% increase in cyber attacks from Iran


Lifestyle

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Extending veganism to your hair and beauty regime is getting easier thanks to a growing industry response to the movement, writes Rachel Marie Walsh.How your beauty routine can go vegan

Áilín Quinlan hears about a programme helping school children to develop effective strategies to deal with worry, stress, and change.Power of positivity: The tools helping kids deal with worry, stress, and change

Yvonne Mulligan set up Nine Yards Design in 2016.Going the distance to build on creativity: Meet interior designer Yvonne Mulligan

More From The Irish Examiner