Sunday 18 August 2019

Brexit: Where does Boris Johnson's cabinet stand on the Irish border question?

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

There's a new cabinet in place in the UK... but where do they all stand on the Irish border question?

Boris Johnson Prime Minister: Boris Johnson was previously caught on tape dismissing the Irish question. "It's so small and there are so few firms that actually use that Border regularly. It's just beyond belief that we're allowing the tail to wag the dog in this way. We're allowing the whole of our agenda to be dictated by this folly," he said. 

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons yesterday. Picture: PA

Chancellor Sajid Javid has proposed giving Ireland "hundreds of millions of euro" to pay for Border solutions. "I think it's morally justified to pay for that because we both have signed the Good Friday Agreement, we are both absolutely committed to peace on the island of Ireland and - given that we voted to leave and that's what's changing the status quo on the island of Ireland - I think it's morally right that we say, 'look, we'll pay because we've caused this'," he said.

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British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid. Picture: AFP/Getty

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has publicly accused the Taoiseach of leaking information about a meeting he had with Tánaiste Simon Coveney. It came after inaccurate reports in the UK press that Mr Coveney was open-minded about a three-month time limit on the backstop during a meeting.

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Dominic Raab has previously said he was party to a non-disclosure agreement (Steve Parsons/PA)

Home Secretary Priti Patel suggested the likelihood of food shortages should be used as leverage against Ireland in the negotiations. "Why hasn't this point been pressed home during negotiations? There is still time to go back to Brussels and get a better deal," she said.

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Priti Patel has previously suggested threatening Ireland with food shortages. Photo: PA

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove wrote a pamphlet in 2000 called 'Northern Ireland: the Price of Peace' in which he compared the agreement to the appeasement of the Nazis in the 1930s. He said the Good Friday Agreement was a "rigged referendum", a "mortal stain" and "a humiliation of our army, police and parliament".

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Michael Gove (Yui Mok/PA)

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has reportedly set up an investment fund in Ireland and warned prospective clients about the dangers of a hard Brexit. But publicly he has accused the Irish Government of "irresponsible, vote-chasing immaturity".

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Boris ally: Jacob Rees-Mogg believes Johnson will get UK out. Photo: REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has warned that the UK would take Ireland's economy down with it if it went ahead with no deal. He recently had a "confrontational" exchange with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

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Changes: Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay is reviewing the Withdrawal Bill. Photo: PA

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith has said very little about Ireland. He did attend a DUP conference and promised then the North would never be separated from the UK.

Irish Independent

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