Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has criticised Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals, before claiming that the British people want Brexit stopped.
Leo Varadkar said Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan “falls short in a number of aspects” while his deputy Simon Coveney said “if that is the final proposal, there will be no deal”.
Varadkar said he could not fully understand how the UK envisages Northern Ireland and Ireland operating under different customs regimes without the need for checkpoints.
“We need to explore in much more detail the customs proposals that are being put forward as it’s very much the view of the Irish government and the people of Ireland, north and south, that there shouldn’t be customs checkpoints or tariffs between north and south,” he said.
He said there were five ways to avoid a hard border – the reunification of Ireland; the Irish Republic re-joining the UK; the UK remaining in the single market and customs union; the border backstop mechanism; or the UK reversing the Brexit decision.
He added the best option was to scrap Brexit – something he believed the British people wanted.
“All the polls since prime minister Johnson became prime minister suggest that’s what the British people actually want, but their political system isn’t able to give them that choice,” he continued.
The latest YouGov poll on Brexit beliefs found 55% of people support Remain compared to the 45% that support leaving without a deal or a proposal similar to Boris Johnson’s plan.
Boris Johnson’s spokeswoman said: “The UK voted to leave the EU and the prime minister believes it is vital we deliver upon that decision.
“We are all used to being asked questions about Brexit when we travel and it is no different for him, but the prime minister laid out in a statement earlier today that it is vital we deliver on the referendum result and that is what we are going to do.”