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29 Jul, 2019 15:56

‘Highly offensive’: Sinn Fein slam BoJo over failure to meet Irish PM on Brexit deal

‘Highly offensive’: Sinn Fein slam BoJo over failure to meet Irish PM on Brexit deal

Sinn Fein, the pro-EU Irish republican party, hit out at UK PM Boris Johnson’s failure to engage with Republic of Ireland PM Leo Varadkar since taking office, with the issue of the Irish border critical in any Brexit deal.

Michelle O’Neill, the leader of Sinn Féin in the Northern Ireland Assembly, commenting after a meeting with British government officials on Monday, branded Johnson’s apparent lack of urgency to meet the Irish PM, as “highly offensive.” 

“...the failure of Boris Johnson to even speak to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. That is highly offensive given the disastrous impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.”

The contentious Northern Irish ‘backstop’, so integral to Varadkar’s Ireland in terms of honoring the historic ‘Good Friday Agreement’ that helps maintain peace and ensures freedom of movement across the border, is hated by PM Johnson.

Johnson wants the backstop removed completely, which has put him on a collision course with Varadkar. This has not gone unnoticed by Sinn Fein’s O’Neill, who has been left angry by what she sees as Johnson’s lack of respect towards those that voted remain in Northern Ireland.

“...the people here voted to Remain and their wishes should be respected not trampled over."

Northern Ireland has been without a government in the power-sharing assembly in Stormont since January 2017, due to internal wranglings between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

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With no sign of a resolution being made in getting the assembly up and running again, in combination with the threat of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit that could see direct rule being implemented in Northern Ireland by the UK government, PM Johnson has his work cut out to mend bridges.

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