1. ITV Report

Ireland is being 'victimised' in Brexit process says Varadkar

Credit: PA

Leo Varadkar has said Ireland is being victimised in the Brexit process.

Speaking on Bloomberg TV, The Irish Premier said Ireland had already compromised in the Brexit negotiations and that withdrawal of the UK from the EU was potentially going to cause a lot of harm to other countries.

"We're the ones already giving," Mr Varadkar said.

"The UK wanted a review clause in the backstop and we agreed to that, the UK wanted a UK-wide element, so why is it the country that is being victimised is the one that's always asked to give?"

The Taoiseach said he had not yet seen any technologies that could solve the border issue and that Ireland would not be giving up the backstop for a promise that it would be dealt with later.

Mr Varadkar said: "They don't exist and nobody has been able to show them to me."

Why would we give up a legal guarantee and something we know will work in practice, for a promise to sort it out later or a promise to invent technologies? That's just not a serious position.

– Leo Varadkar TD

The Taoiseach added: "People who say they're against a hard border and also against a backstop. That's a contradiction."

Speaking from Davos where he is attending the World Economic Forum, Mr Varadkar said it was "very unlikely" that Brexit would never happen.

He said Ireland and the EU could "help" the negotiations.

"We could work with a Norway-plus model. We could work with a Canada model with special arrangements for Northern Ireland," Mr Varadkar said.

"But ultimately it's the people who caused all this and started this who have to come up with the solutions. We can help."

He added that the EU would be "open to making changes" to the Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.