Published On: Tue, Oct 8th, 2019

Ireland accuses Boris of making ‘cash-for-compromise’ Brexit offer | UK | News

Simon Coveney accused the Prime Minister of trying to pressure Dublin into helping broker a Brexit deal. The Irish deputy premier said London had taken a “carrot-and-stick” approach, which involved the Government offering to fund the infrastructure and staff needed for any new customs checks and the the threat of no deal disruption. He insisted that Dublin would not adopt a “cash-for-compromise” position in the coming days.

Mr Coveney said: “This isn’t about money.

“If people still think that it is well then they’re really not plugged into the Irish mindset or to the history of this island.”

He added: “This is not about money, sweetness or being paid-off or anything like that.

“For people to try to shift that debate, to suggest that Ireland is the one being difficult of intransigent or stubborn on this, I think is trying to rewrite history, to be quite frank.”

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, is expected to hold further talks with Mr Johnson in the coming days.

Dublin is being cautious not to be seen closing the door on a potential Brexit compromise ahead of October 31.

“At the moment, we accept that Mr Johnson is seeking a compromise deal,” a source told the Irish Independent.

“We will not close any doors.”

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The insider said: “The call with Merkel showed the EU has adopted a new position. She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the customs union.

“Merkel said that if Germany wanted to leave the EU they could do it with no problem but the UK cannot leave without leaving Northern Ireland behind in a customs union and in full alignment forever.

“She said that Ireland is the government’s special problem and Ireland must at least have a veto on Northern Ireland leaving.

“Merkel said that the PM should tell Northern Ireland that it must stay in full alignment forever, but that even this would not eliminate customs issue.”

The German government refused to comment on the contents of the two leaders’ phone call.

During an official visit to a Hertfordshire hospital yesterday, the Prime Minister challenged the EU to turn his offer into a deal ahead of the crunch meeting.

He said: “I think actually our proposal is very fair, very reasonable. What it does is it respects the Good Friday Agreement, the peace process in Northern Ireland.

“It makes sure there’s no hard border – there’s no checks at all at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

“It also goes further in allowing Northern Ireland and Ireland to remain in alignment both for agrifoods – for cattle and so on – but also for industrial goods as well.

“Now that’s a big step forward, a big advance, a big compromise by the UK Government.

“What we’re saying to our friends is, ‘This is a very fair, generous and reasonable offer. What we’d like to hear from you now is what your thoughts are and if you have any issues with what we’ve come up with, then let’s get into the detail and discuss them’.”

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