‘Cabinet resignations must not stall Brexit White Paper’ – FF

The UK’s long-awaiting Brexit White Paper must be published this week – despite the high-profile resignations of two key UK ministers, a Fianna Fail TD has warned.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson resigned from his post as UK foreign secretary. His resignation came just hours after former Brexit secretary, David Davis, also resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet.

The ministers’ decisions to quit followed the ‘soft’ Brexit proposals outlined by the Prime Minister at a key Brexit summit last Friday at her Chequers estate (July 6).

In response to the situation, Fianna Fail’s spokesperson on Brexit Lisa Chambers has said that while the resignations are matters for the UK Government and its Conservative Party, it is “nevertheless a cause of grave concern”.

The paper was scheduled to be published this week, and despite the recent resignations, every effort must be made to ensure it is published and that negotiations continue as planned.

“It is imperative that the resignations of two senior members of the UK Cabinet, do not derail the strategy agreed on Friday in Chequers,” she said.

No-deal scenario

Chambers remarked that the October deadline for a withdrawal agreement is “fast approaching” as the issue of the border “remains unresolved”.

She outlined that Ireland’s interests must remain to the fore.

Our Government should continue to press for an agreement on a legally binding backstop and ensure the protection of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Our Government must step up its domestic preparedness for Brexit and have contingency plans that are ready to be operationalised for all scenarios – including a no-deal option,” she said.

Concluding, Chambers outlined that a hard Brexit is “certainly undesirable” for Ireland.

“Recent events demonstrate that the Irish Government cannot assume the UK will adopt a reasoned and cohesive approach to Brexit,” she said.