European leaders should not enter any agreements with the British Government until they are confident they will keep to their promises, Ireland’s deputy premier warned this morning.
Leo Varadkar made the comment after Dominic Cummings indicated that it is not the British Government’s intention to keep to the Brexit deal.
“I saw those comments; I hope Dominic Cummings is speaking for himself and not for the British Government,” the Tanaiste told RTE Morning Ireland.
“But those comments are very alarming because that would indicate that this is a Government, an administration, that acted in bad faith and that message needs to be heard around the world.
“If the British Government doesn’t honour its agreements, it doesn’t adhere to treaties it signs, that must apply to everyone else too.
“At the moment they’re going around the world, they’re trying to negotiate new trade agreements… Surely the message must go out to all countries around the world that this is a British Government that doesn’t necessarily keep its word and doesn’t necessarily honour the agreements it makes.
“And you shouldn’t make any agreements with them until such time as you’re confident that they keep their promises, and honour things, for example, like the protocol.”
Going the extra mile
Meanwhile, a French former Europe minister has said the EU is “looking to go the extra mile” with its proposal aimed at resolving the political stand-off over Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol, and she criticised UK Brexit negotiator Lord Frost for producing a deal he now disagrees with.
MEP Nathalie Loiseau told the BBC’s Today programme: “I’m comfortable with the fact that the (European) Commission is looking to go the extra mile, and fix the problems and try to find a solution within the protocol.
“I think pragmatism and good will is really on the EU’s side and I sincerely hope that the (British) posturing of denying the benefits of the protocol (ends), because there are many benefits of the protocol.”
She added: “What can we think of David Frost negotiating the protocol, signing the protocol and pushing hard for the British Parliament to ratify the protocol if now he says that he doesn’t agree with the protocol? That’s a big problem.”
On the idea that the Brexit deal in relation to Ireland was negotiated hastily and needs revisiting, she said: “This is not accurate. It took months and there was another offer on the table when Theresa May was prime minister which was called the British backstop, the Irish backstop at that time.
“It was rejected by some members of the Tory party and then we came to the Irish protocol but not in 14 hours, it took months to negotiate it, and it was the very same person, Lord Frost, who says he doesn’t agree with the protocol.”