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Ireland'The government must be absolutely honest' - Micheál Martin calls on Varadkar to reveal plans for custom checks near border

16:30  06 september  2019
16:30  06 september  2019 Source:   independent.ie

Custom checks in Ireland an 'act of political vandalism' to Good Friday Agreement, TD claims

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Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has called on the Taoiseach to roll the current investigation into the CervicalCheck controversy into a Commission of Investigation. Mr Varadkar noted that the paper implied an expiry date sometime in 2021, which he said is something the Government cannot accept.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said that health and housing are the defining issues of our time and need resolution. He has also described Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar 's portrayal of the talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on facilitating government formation as "very dishonest".

'The government must be absolutely honest' - Micheál Martin calls on Varadkar to reveal plans for custom checks near border Mr Martin piled pressure on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's government

FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has warned the government to be “absolutely honest” and “up front” about plans for customs checks near the border in the event of a crash-out Brexit.

Mr Martin also piled pressure on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's government saying that he doesn't believe its done enough to avoid chaos if Britain leaves the EU without a deal on October 31.

It comes after Mr Varadkar confirmed that in the a no-deal scenario there will have to be checks near the border.

Mr Martin hit-out at the Fine Gael-led government claiming they “haven't been up front about this from the beginning and they should have been”.

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Micheál Martin expressed dissatisfaction with Leo Varadkar ’s responses on Wednesday when he raised “In short, we must always seek to attract our brightest and best to the teaching profession Mr Varadkar said there were 5,000 more teachers working in schools than there were two years ago.

Mr Varadkar was defending the controversial unit, which the Opposition dubbed as the Government ’s “spin department”. The Taoiseach insisted it would be cost neutral despite the €5 He said there were important issues about the politicisation of the Civil Service “which must be avoided at all costs”.

He referred to an incident revealed by the Irish Independent where Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Transport Minister Shane Ross were caught on tape discussing remarks where Mr Ross suggested there will be checks on goods.

Mr Coveney said at the time: “Once you start talking about checks anywhere near the Border, people will start delving into that and all of a sudden we'll be the Government that reintroduced a physical border on the island of Ireland”.

'The government must be absolutely honest' - Micheál Martin calls on Varadkar to reveal plans for custom checks near border © Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images

Mr Martin argued that Mr Coveney's remarks were “to the effect of 'we don't want to be the government that's seen to be doing this so keep quiet'.”

The Fianna Fáil leader said: “The government needs to be upfront is that's what jolts people into preparing properly.”

Allowing customs checks on the island of Ireland amounts to 'political vandalism', says McDonald

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The UK's stance on the customs backstop is no cause for panic, the taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar has said. The DUP supported the Commons move on a customs border , but The Irish government 's position is that there can be no Brexit deal without a backstop to prevent a hard

Talks between Varadkar and Micheal Martin , the leader of the main opposition party, Fianna Fail, were continuing ahead of Martin bringing the motion of no EU president Donald Tusk says the Irish border issue must be resolved if Britain is to make a breakthrough on Brexit at the European Council summit

He said there's “quite alarming” statistics on businesses that aren't prepared for a no-deal Brexit.

“I think there's been a sense from government and indeed many various sectors that it will be alright on the night,” he said.

Mr Martin said the government should “spell out clearly what is involved” in checks near the border.

He said he doesn't believe the government is prepared for the chaos that could ensure if there's a no-deal Brexit at the end of October.

He claimed the government wasn't ready for the previous March 31 deadline either.

'The government must be absolutely honest' - Micheál Martin calls on Varadkar to reveal plans for custom checks near border © Thomson Reuters Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Pool via REUTERS

“I'm not confident people are fully [prepared] in terms of the capacity of the ports for example in terms terms of what happens with transport and what happens with the compliance costs and things like that.”

He said he's “very concerned about the disruption that would occur.”

'Our position to peace process is unshakeable' - but Boris Johnson says Brexit 'must happen by October 31'

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Michael Gove pulls plans to reveal ‘watered down’ Yellowhammer. A meeting between Mr Varadkar and Micheál Martin , Fianna Fáil’s leader, broke up shortly before 5pm on Interviewed on national television on Friday night, Mr Varadkar said he would not force the government to But the prime minister made clear his willingness to call a snap election before Christmas if Fianna Fáil persisted

Image caption Micheál Martin has called for a 'special economic zone' involving Northern Ireland Micheál Martin was speaking at a meeting of the British-Irish Association in Cambridge on Saturday. He said UK sovereignty would remain intact and it was UK government policy to support such zones

Mr Martin said a no-deal Brexit still may not happen and a lot depends on events in Westminster in the coming weeks.

“For example do they prolong the timing of a general election beyond October 31... We can't control that.

“All we can control is telling the people what will happen if it's a no deal and be absolutely honest about that and be up front about that.”

Mr Martin said he doesn't want to see an election here until "there's light at the end of the Brexit tunnel".

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UK 'must put checkpoints north of the Border' after no-deal exit.
Checks on goods and animals will also have to be established on the northern side of the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned. Despite repeated promises from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he wouldn't erect checkpoints, the Taoiseach believes the UK will have no option. Irish officials will meet the European Commission again next week to discuss how checks would operate in the Republic. Mr Varadkar insisted the Government has yet not identified any sites for checks.

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