In an interview with Channel 4 News, Ireland’s Foreign Minister, Paschal Donohue, defended the rejected withdrawal agreement and the troubling backstop clause. He said: “Here’s my question back to Brexiteers. If they believe that alternative arrangements are possible and if they believe they can play a role in dissolving these difficulties then why not ratify the withdrawal agreement?”
He said: “We only see the backstop as being an insurance policy.
“Why not, within the withdrawal agreement, use that as the space to scope out what these alternative arrangements could be?
“Which of course we have indicated we will be willing to look at.”
The backstop clause of the withdrawal agreements negotiated by Theresa May have been point of contention for Brexiteers.
Paschal Donohue: "my question to Brexiteers'
Many believe that it does not deliver on the promises of the referendum because it keeps the UK still too close to the EU.
And many are worried that checks on the Irish border would impede the Good Friday agreement
However, the minister was forced to admit that in the case of a no deal Brexit, the checks will be “away from the border”.
Channel 4 interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy appeared confused at this confession.
He said: “A lot of Brexiteers will hear that and say ‘well if they can do that, that’s the answer!’
“There is no problem with the Northern Ireland border, they can do all their checks away from the border.
“They can pass on the problem of the integrity of the single market to Ireland effectively, and then it’s not our problem, just get on with it.”
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Mr Donohue attempted to quickly backtrack, saying: “We’re not the ones leaving the European Union.
“We have not made that decision. We’re in it to stay.
“The European Union is an integral part of how we’ve realised our political freedom and our economic progress.
“Any of the so-called alternative arrangements to the backstop are ones that are really inferior for our country, raise issues for our economy and raise issues for our engagement with Northern Ireland.”
This is when the minister issued his question to Brexiteers.