Tuesday 22 October 2019

'Is there a sting in the tail?' - Varadkar takes swipe at Fianna Fáil on eve of rival party’s Ard Fheis

Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin
Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has taken a swipe a Fianna Fáil on the eve of the rival party’s Ard Fheis.

In remarks that are likely to anger Micheál Martin’s party Mr Varadkar recognised them for facilitating the Fine Gael-led minority government, but questioned if they would have done so if Fianna Fáil had been ahead in the polls.

Mr Varadkar said the role Fianna Fáil playing in providing  stability is in contrast to “division and chaos” in Westminster. But he added: “Is there a sting in the tail? I wonder, if Fianna Fáil was 5pc-10pc ahead in the polls for the last year, would they be so willing to facilitate us? Time will tell.”

Mr Varadkar was speaking at Fine Gael’s Midlands/North-West selection convention for the European Elections.

Sitting MEP Mairead McGuinness and former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh are nominated to be the party’s candidates.

He also poured cold water on the prospect of Britain getting a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States if the open border in Ireland is not maintained.

Mr Varadkar said he doesn’t believe the US Congress will agree to any trade deal with the UK “that would undermine the Good Friday Agreement and the open border between North and South.

He also insisted that MEPs won’t pass any Withdrawal Agreement that doesn’t protect Ireland.

He said: “Westminster might be the mother of all parliaments but it’s not the boss of other parliaments and I know the European Parliament will not vote for a withdrawal agreement that does not do right by Ireland.”

Online Editors

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