- Title: Ireland's Coveney: can't renegotiate Brexit backstop in short time
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: BRITISH BREXIT SECRETARY STEPHEN BARCLAY WALKING TO TAKE SEAT NEXT TO COVENEY (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER, SIMON COVENEY, SAYING: "As the European Council has consistently made clear, the Withdrawal Agreement, including the now famous backstop, cannot simply be renegotiated. Even if we wanted to do that, which we don't, we can't do it in six or ten weeks." AUDIENCE LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER, SIMON COVENEY, SAYING: "(British) Prime Minister Johnson's proposal to simply abolish the backstop - in the absence of agreed alternative arrangements that we can believe will work - is something that we cannot and will not support. The backstop (APPLAUDS) The backstop is - currently anyway - the only viable, if temporary, solution that avoids physical infrastructure and related checks and controls and preserves an all-Ireland economy which in many ways has been the most effective reinforcer of peaceful relationships." BARCLAY AND COVENEY (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER, SIMON COVENEY, SAYING: "Ultimately, the truth is that the answers lie with Westminster, as they have done since Britain voted to leave our union. A no-deal will not be our choice. It will not be France's choice and it will not be the EU's choice. It will be the choice of the UK government and the British parliament collectively. If they choose to allow us or indeed to deliberately trigger it. No amount of political grandstanding or attempts to shift the blame can change this fact." LOGO ON LECTERN READING (French): "Our Future" (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER, SIMON COVENEY, SAYING: "In a no-deal scenario, the truth is that there are no easy answers. Everybody loses. Ireland has consistently said in a no-deal, it is a lose-lose-lose. Britain loses, Ireland loses and all countries in the EU do also." (APPLAUDS) MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE LISTENING, INCLUDING BARCLAY AND COVENEY (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER, SIMON COVENEY, SAYING: "A no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly likely. Whether you are in Ireland or in France, whether you are a big or a small enterprise - and I suspect both are represented here - it is vital that you prepare and more importantly (that) you inform yourself on how best to mitigate against the negative impact of the very fundamental change in the trading environment between the EU and the UK that a no-deal will demand." BARCLAY AND COVENEY COVENEY ENDING SPEECH
- Embargoed: 11th September 2019 15:03
- Keywords: backstop Coveney Brexit withdrawal agreement Ireland Northern Ireland Britain EU
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002AU4VUIV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ireland's foreign minister on Wednesday (August 28) said ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement was the only way to ensure Britain's orderly exit from the European Union, adding time was too short to renegotiate the Irish border backstop protocol.
With little over two months until Britain is due to leave the EU, there is little clarity over how this will happen or whether it will happen at all. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to limit parliament's opportunity to derail his Brexit plans on Wednesday.
Speaking at a forum hosted by France's MEDEF employers federation, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the backstop was currently the only viable solution to preserve "an all-Ireland economy which in many ways has been the most effective reinforcer of peaceful relationships".
Coveney added that a no-deal Brexit was becoming increasingly likely and urged all companies, big and small, to prepare for the important changes it would bring to the trading environment between Britain and the European Union.
(Production Michaela Cabrera, Hortense de Roffignac)
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