Thursday 18 October 2018

Boris Johnson comments offensive, says Coveney

Tánaiste Simon Coveney. Picture: PA
Tánaiste Simon Coveney. Picture: PA
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Tánaiste Simon Coveney launched a scathing attack on former British foreign minister Boris Johnson for what he termed "ill-judged" and "unhelpful" comments about Brexit.

It came after Mr Johnson claimed that some elements of the Brexit talks, including the so-called Irish backstop, had wrapped a "suicide vest" around the British constitution with the detonator held in Brussels.

Mr Coveney said many would be offended by Mr Johnson's remarks and claimed it was an attempt to undermine British Prime Minister Theresa May.

He said the Irish Government was working with Mrs May to put in place the basis of a deal to allow Britain to leave the EU in a "managed and sensible" way.

He said Mrs May made a commitment last December that she would ensure there was no physical Border in Ireland and that the Government here is asking for this to be delivered on.

He said Mr Johnson was a member of government at the time and it was "extraordinary" that he was now taking "such an aggressive position".

Downing Street has rebuked Mr Johnson for the remarks, a spokesman for Mrs May, saying he did not want to give them "further oxygen" as he insisted Mrs May was "fully focused" on Brexit negotiations.

Irish Independent

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