'Britain wants advantages but not the responsibility of the EU' - Varadkar criticises 'puzzling' Brexit plan

'Britain wants advantages but not the responsibility of the EU' - Varadkar criticises 'puzzling' Brexit plan

AN TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has said that Britain wants the advantages of being in the EU, without the responsibility and costs attached. 

Mr Varadkar was speaking on Bloomberg in Toronto earlier this morning when he made the comments.

An Taoiseach is currently in Canada attending meetings relating to business, tourism, trade, media and also meeting with the Irish community.

During his interview, the Taoiseach said that while the Irish Government were satisfied that the Common Travel Area and rights of British and Irish citizens will be maintained post Brexit, he was adamant that there shouldn't be a trade border on the island of Ireland, and said they do not 'have sufficient progress on that.'

The interviewer then asked what would happen if the British Government did not secure the trade agreement they wanted from the EU, and instead put in a hard border, to which An Taoiseach said he was 'confused and puzzled.'

"Where we're confused and puzzled is very much at the premise of your question - what trade agreement does the United Kingdom want with the European Union?

"At the moment they have the best trade deal possible, the best one imaginable, which is a customs union, and access the single European market and the European Economic Area.

"What they seem to be suggesting, all along for the last 14 months now, is that they want all the advantages of being in the EU, but none of the responsibities and costs - and that's not a realistic position, so we're waiting to see what they want to say.

"One thing that really strikes me about being here in Canada, one month from today, CETA the Canadian European Trade Agreement will come into force.

"When Britain leaves the European Union, it's not only leaving the European Union it's leaving all of those trade agreements that Europe has made with Canada, Japan, south Krea.

"So it's not really clear to us what better deals the British Government really wants from Europe and other countries and I think some more clarity in that area would be really helpful."

Mr Varadkar is due to visit the U.S-Canada border later today, which has been cited by some Brexit supporters as a “seamless and frictionless” border and possible model for the Irish frontier.

“I’m a little bit skeptical,” he said.“But I’d like to see it with my own eyes.”