Former Brexit secretary David Davis admits UK Government should have put more resources into solving Irish border 'blind spot'
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Former Brexit secretary David Davis admits UK Government should have put more resources into solving Irish border 'blind spot'

FORMER Brexit secretary David Davis has admitted his government had a "blind spot" over Brexit's effect on Ireland, saying more should have been done to resolve the Irish border issue.

Davis, who resigned from his position last July over Prime Minister Theresa May's EU withdrawal plan, outlined two reasons why the British Government had failed to understand the border crisis.

The lack of a functioning executive in Northern Ireland since January 2017 and the election of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in June 2017 had left his former department "unpredictably handicapped", the 70-year-old claimed.

Speaking to fellow MPs at the European Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, Mr Davis admitted Downing Street should have put "more resources" into solving issues that arose across the Irish Sea following the Brexit vote in June 2016.

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"The original Taoiseach [Enda Kenny] took a slightly more constructive approach than came later... the attitude of the Irish authorities in the first year was different than what came later," Davis said.

"It might be a coincidence that it changed at the time Mr Varadkar came in, or it might have been his drive.

"Either way, it changed and we probably didn't react quickly enough".

Mr Davis further divulged that he had not initially viewed the lack of an executive at Stormont as a significant problem for the Brexit process.

He added: "Without the Northern Ireland executive sitting on the joint ministerial committee... there was a blind spot there."

His startling admission came as Mrs May survived a vote of no confidence in her government tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday.

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Mrs May survived by 19 votes – 325 to 306 – despite Mr Corbyn claiming she was leading a "zombie government" due to its inability to pass Brexit legislation.

Just 24 hours before, Mrs May suffered a record defeat when the House of Commons overwhelmingly rejected her EU withdrawal deal.

Some 118 Tory rebel MPs and all 10 of her DUP colleagues voting against the deal, most over Mrs May's failure to agree a time-limit on the Irish border 'backstop' with the EU.