Sunday December 15, 2019

Tough talk on a soft Border: the inside story of how the deal was done

While Leo Varadkar was firm on the ‘national question’, a solid Irish team in Brussels kept EU officials engaged with the issues.

Michael Brennan

Political Editor

10th December, 2017
aoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney talk to the press at the conclusion phase 1 of the Brexit talks. Sam Boal/

The first stage of the Brexit talks represents a clear victory for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s style of forceful diplomacy. He has been deliberately talking tough since he took office last summer, in contrast to the more mild rhetoric from his predecessor Enda Kenny. Within weeks of taking office, he had proclaimed that the government would do nothing to help London design a hard border.

Talking about the North is a relatively new experience...

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