by Frank Schnittger
Mon Sep 9th, 2019 at 04:43:35 PM EST
Please scroll to 44 minutes for beginning of Press conference
- We respect democratic and sovereign decision of the UK to leave the EU
- Even a no deal Brexit on 31 Oct. is simply the start of the next phase
- No deal= severe disruption on these islands - less so on the continent
- All the same issues will still have to be resolved before we can even begin to talk about the future economic relationship
- All issues which had been resolved in deal negotiated in good faith (note to Mike Pence) with your predecessor will still be on the table.
- Negotiating FTAs with both the EU and USA will be a Herculean task - and can only begin with the EU once Withdrawal Agreement ratified.
- Cannot replace legal guarantees with promises
- Must protect peace and burgeoning all Ireland economy
- Haven't received realistic proposals to date
- GFA is a good example of how previously intractable issues can be resolved
- 50% of all cheese & beef consumed in UK produced in Ireland
- Must restore Stormont power sharing Executive
- Must complete Brexit by 31 st. Oct
- Brexit is not a problem of Ireland's making
- Will not institute border controls
- Can safeguard GFA
- Can protect all-Ireland economy
- Want to find a deal - no deal very damaging and a failure of statecraft
- Can be done by Oct.18th.
Tommy Gorman, RTE; Have you been to border recently? Irish attitude to Direct rule imposed by UK? Boris - waffle, waffle, sanitary & phyto-sanitary controls, waffle waffle. Leo: Irish government would oppose direct rule. Would want east-west intergovernmental institutions established under GFA to be used to maximum effect to provide a cross-community element to all decisions made.
Emma Vardy BBC: Have you the power to get anything through Parliament? Boris - everyone wants to get this done
Kevin Doyle: Irish Independent - nothing of substance produced by UK to date; is today the start of serious negotiations? "Dead in Ditches" - do you understand what's at stake here? (Subtext - many people have been found dead in ditches there). Leo: EU keen to get this sorted by October.
Karl Dillon ITV: Irish government still waiting for firm proposals? Is No deal not worse than no backstop? Boris: waffle waffle. Leo: In the absence of firm arrangement, no backstop is no deal.
Boris has been backed into a corner and has no option but to achieve a deal if he wants to survive beyond 18th. October. The Irish government has made it very plain that the only workable solution has to be an all Ireland one. Otherwise it would be prepared to wait until the formation of a UK government less dependent on the DUP. Over to you Boris.
I have my doubts whether the House of Commons will agree to Theresa May's deal reheated with an Irish rather than all UK backstop. The DUP and some members of the ERG will probably vote against meaning that even the vote of some dissident Tory and Labour MPs will not be enough to ensure it will pass.
But Corbyn can always end the impasse by agreeing to put the deal to the people in a second referendum where the other option will be Remain. This would require a further A.50 extension and perhaps precipitate Boris Johnson's resignation.
However the key objective for Corbyn will be to precipitate a split between the Conservative and Brexit parties, with the latter likely to campaign for a no deal Brexit. That should alter the political landscape for a post referendum general election in no small degree.