Taoiseach and UK Prime Minister speak by phone
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke by phone today with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Taoiseach congratulated the Prime Minister on his appointment and said he looked forward to having a long and close working relationship.
On Brexit, the Taoiseach emphasised to the Prime Minister that the backstop was necessary as a consequence of decisions taken in the UK and by the UK Government. Noting that the Brexit negotiations take place between the UK and the EU, the Taoiseach explained that the EU was united in its view that the Withdrawal Agreement could not be reopened. Alternative arrangements could replace the backstop in the future, as envisaged in the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on the future relationship, but thus far satisfactory options have yet to be identified and demonstrated.
The Taoiseach restated the need for both Governments to be fully committed to the Good Friday Agreement, the protection of the Peace Process and the restoration of the Northern Ireland institutions. He recalled that the Agreement requires the sovereign government to exercise power with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in full respect for their rights, equality, parity of esteem and just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos and aspirations of both communities.
The Taoiseach invited the Prime Minister to Dublin to share further their respective analyses on Brexit and to continue discussion of bilateral matters including Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area.