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'People are very worried about what the future holds' - Varadkar concerned about dissident Republican violence in context of Brexit

 

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attends a session of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attends a session of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

AP

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attends a session of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Leo Varadkar said he was concerned about dissident Republican violence in the context of Brexit, in an interview with Euronews.

He said it was 'very lucky' that nobody died in a recent car bomb in Derry, believed to have been carried out by dissidents.

"I don't want to say that that was directly linked to Brexit, or that it was directly linked to the 100th anniversary of the Irish parliament being founded. But Brexit is now all part of the context.

"It's one of the reasons why the power-sharing Government isn't functioning in Northern Ireland, and it is something that's causing great concern for citizens in the North and also along the border counties."

"Every day thousands of people cross the border to go to work, thousands of people cross the border to go to college or school. And all of those people are very worried now about what the future holds.

"Things that they thought had been settled have now been unsettled, and that does create an environment that dissidents can exploit.

Earlier, Mr Varadkar said that a no deal Brexit would result in a period of 'chaos' and Ireland would have to negotiate with the EU and the UK to avoid a hard border.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland would face a 'major dilemma' if there is a no deal scenario.

"Ireland has obligations to protect the single market...the United Kingdom would have a responsibility to abide by World Trade Organisation rules, and both the United Kingdom and Ireland would have responsibilities to honour the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process.

"So I think we'd end up in a situation whereby the EU and Ireland and the UK would have to come together and in order to honour our commitment to the people of Ireland that there would be no hard border, we would have to agree on full alignment on customs and regulations.

"So after a period of chaos we would perhaps end up exactly where we are now, with a very similar deal."

Mr Varadkar said however that this was a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question.

"The truth is nobody can know for sure what would happen in a no-deal scenario, that's why we worked so hard over the past two years to put together a withdrawal agreement."

Online Editors