Irish protesters greet Boris Johnson as he enters meeting with Varadkar
Story Code : 815576
Reeling from his successive parliamentary defeats last week, Johnson was hoping for a concession on Brexit, if not a breakthrough.
Ahead of his meeting with Varadkar, Johnson claimed that a Brexit deal was still “possible” before the European Union (EU) summit in Brussels which starts on October 17.
But even before the meeting began, Varadkar appeared to pour cold water on Johnson’s expectations on September 08 by saying that he “does not expect any breakthroughs”.
Varadkar reiterated this position just before the meeting yesterday, by appearing to rule out any significant progress in his talks with Johnson, by saying there is no such thing as a “clean break” between the UK and the EU.
In recent weeks Varadkar has repeatedly warned that the risk of a no-deal Brexit is “significant and growing”.
As the Republic of Ireland is the one EU state that will be most affected by a potential hard Brexit, Varadkar has been at pains in recent weeks to play down the dangers to his domestic audience.
On September 06, Varadkar tried to reassure the Irish public about the potential adverse implications of a no-deal Brexit by claiming that it would neither lead to recession nor to the return of austerity.
But the Irish public appears to not be fully convinced by the Taoiseach’s reassurance.
Underscoring the level of Irish anger at Johnson’s cavalier attitude to Brexit, scores of protesters gathered outside Leinster House in Dublin yesterday to vent their fury at the British PM.
The protest was organised by Seamus McDonnel from County Armagh who led chants of: “No customs, no border, no Brexit”.
Another leading protester, Sinn Fein councillor, Dessie Ellis, said: “We’re here today to protest against Boris Jonson’s visit to Dublin. We want to send out a strong message that we will not stand for a hard border or any border”.