Irish PM criticises Boris Johnson's handling of Brexit saying that 'Britain needs Europe'

Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Taoiseach Micheal Martin - Credit: PA

Irish prime minister Micheal Martin has said that “Britain needs Europe, and Europe needs Britain”.

In a criticism of Boris Johnson's handling of Brexit talks, he said the Taioseach was critical of Boris Johnson’s threat to deploy Royal Navy vessels to patrol the seas around Britain if there is no deal.

“All of that type of language isn’t helpful, although, depending on how you read a particular situation, all nations have their fisheries protection capacity,” he said.

“Perhaps it demonstrates the dangers of an acrimonious break-up because dialogue matters more and we know from our history that dialogue is far better than conflict.

“In my discussions with Boris Johnson I have always pointed out to him the interdependency of the fishing issue in terms of where they are found and where they end up.

“The real end is New Year’s Eve but both sides are very possessed of the need to try and get outcomes to these negotiations in the next numbers of days.

“I am hopeful but I don’t want to understate the very significant challenges that face both the UK and the EU side on this level playing field issue and the fisheries issue.

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“They are significantly difficult issues and they have bedevilled the talks from the outset. But the fact they have decided to continue the talks yesterday is a hopeful sign and I do take some hope from that.”

But Martin added it is important that good British and Irish relations continue after Brexit.

“We know that the Good Friday Agreement was founded on a very strong relationship between Britain and Ireland and the two governments and that will continue,” he added.

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