Chambers expresses concern that backstop is not watertight

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Lisa Chambers TD says she’s concerned that the Taoiseach’s comments following his conversation with the British Prime Minister earlier today means that the backstop, which is supposed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland in any circumstance, is not watertight.

Her comments follow a statement from Mr Varadkar, in which he indicated openness to the possibility of a review mechanism for the backstop.

Deputy Chambers explained, “Last December the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste hailed the agreement on the backstop as ‘cast-iron’ and ‘bullet-proof’ but today the Taoiseach said that he is open to the possibility of a review of the backstop being included in the final deal. I am very worried that the backstop is not as watertight as has been previously indicated.

“Moreover, a review raises the prospect of the backstop being time-limited. This is a significant and potentially hazardous change in direction and I believe that the Taoiseach needs to further clarify his comments in the Dáil tomorrow.

“We are at a very crucial stage in the negotiations and it is essential that Ireland’s unique concerns are not cast aside to get a withdrawal deal across the line. The Taoiseach and Tánaiste have repeatedly said that there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland and that the backstop cannot be time-limited. The Irish people have taken them at their word and will not accept any blurring of those lines at this late stage”.