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Varadkar to discuss possibility of Northern Ireland-only backstop with Johnson
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that he will discuss the possibility of a Northern Ireland-only backstop with the British prime minister Boris Johnson when he comes to Dublin for the first meeting between the two on Monday morning.

While keen to emphasise that negotiations on Brexit can only take place between the UK Government and the EU taskforce, Mr Varadkar told journalists at Dublin Port on Sunday that he was willing to see if there was common ground on a "Northern Ireland specific" solution, something which has been raised by Mr Johnson in recent days.

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Mr Varadkar said that he will discuss the possibility of a Northern Ireland-only backstop as a solution to the Brexit stalemate with Mr Johnson, but disputed that there was any significant progress being made in talks between the EU and the UK, as Mr Johnson and several of his ministers have claimed.

"If that's what being said that's a very optimistic assessment of where we stand," he said. "I don't think it would be shared by any of the other 27 member governments."

"I do though look forward to meeting Prime Minister Johnson tomorrow, I don't expect any big breakthroughs but I do think it's an opportunity for us to establish a relationship, to see what common ground might exist because I do believe that both governments, and all governments, do want there to be a deal and also to talk about Northern Ireland where we've a shared desire to have the institutions up and running again."

Seeing no EU heads of government are prepared to go to Downing St., Johnson has had to bite the bullet and travel to meet the leader of a minor EU member state. No doubt there will be some thumping of tables, but the Irish government has laid out their requirements very clearly, to the chagrin of the DUP who are absolutely opposed to N. Ireland remaining in "an economic zone" with the Republic despite the fact that many people think that could give them the best of both worlds, access to both the Single and UK markets.

Losing the DUP's 10 MPs support would be the least of Boris' problems at this stage - he is down over 20 MPs as it is - but a N. Ireland only backstop would give him the opportunity to come up with a deal which doesn't tie Great Britain to the EU Market and Customs regulations indefinitely.

It is doubtful enough Labour MPs would vote for any deal Boris could come up with at this stage but they might support putting Boris' deal to the people in a referendum where the other choice is Remain. The Brexit party would go apocalyptic as they favour no deal whatsoever, but do they really care about N. Ireland?

This is Boris' last chance of surviving as Prime Minister...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 8th, 2019 at 07:43:25 PM EST

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