‘Support Brexit deal or RESIGN!’ Varadkar orders Sinn Fein to BACK MAY and END abstention

Posted on Nov 29 2018 - 5:30pm by admin

Despite the increasing threat of the deal being rejected in the British Parliament, Mr Varadkar still expects MPs to “sooner or later” support the Brexit agreement between the UK and EU. Mrs May faces her biggest hurdle yet on December 11 with a huge uphill battle to get her deal passed through Parliament amid numerous protests from all sides it doesn’t represent what the British people voted for during the EU referendum in June 2016. But in a huge show of support to the British Prime Minister, Mr Varadkar warned Sinn Féin should consider resigning ahead of the vote in the House of Commons if they cannot take up their seats because of their abstention policy.

He said: “Sinn Féin is an unusual party in that it is not taking up its seats in Westminster for one reason and it isn’t taking up its seats in Stormont for another.

“Generally people who get involved in politics get involved because they want to make a difference and use the democratic process to get good outcomes for citizens.

“If they are not willing to take up their seats because they feel they can’t, because they got elected on the basis of abstentionism, they do have the option now of resigning their seats and allowing the people in those constituencies decide whether or not they want to have a say when this vote comes to Westminster.”

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Sinn Féin does not recognise the authority of Westminster over Northern Ireland. However the party still contests general elections, with victorious MPs abstaining from taking their seats in Parliament and ignoring votes.

The policy of abstention is one of the pillars of the party, which also operates in the Republic of Ireland, where its TDs (MPs) sit in the Dail parliament.

Mr Varadkar also provided Theresa May with another much-needed boost by adding he is confident the British Parliament will at some point vote in favour of her deal with Brussels.

He acknowledged much of the attention has been on the Irish backstop – the main sticking point in the weeks before the UK and EU eventually agreed on a deal – but insisted the arrangement also offers the UK benefits.

The Taoiseach said: “I think it is likely that the UK parliament sooner or later will agree to what has been agreed by the 28 member state governments.

“This is the best deal that was available to the UK. I know there is a lot of focus on the backstop but bear in mind one of the big benefits for the UK of the backstop is it provides for a single customs territory if we cannot agree a future relationship as President Macron pointed out.

“That means that even if we can’t negotiate a future relationship, the UK will continue to have access to EU markets through a single customs territory.”

But despite increasing concern Mrs May’s Brexit deal will be rejected by the Commons in two weeks’ time, Mr Varadkar insisted European Union leaders had agreed at the emergency summit in Brussels on Sunday not to speculate too much on a no-deal scenario or on alternatives to what has now been agreed.

He said: “What we decided to do at the European Council meeting was to collectively not speculate too much on a no deal scenario or on alternatives to what has been agreed.

“We don’t want to give the wrong impression to people whether they are passionate Remainers or passionate Brexiteers that there is another deal could command the support of 28 members states, there is not. It is this deal or a no deal scenario.”

It is the latest significant show of support towards Mrs May from her Irish counterpart, who on Sunday ridiculed Brexiteers over their “imaginary” Brexit plans, insisting there can be no other deal between London and Brussels.

Mr Varadkar said: “There isn’t a plan B. What’s being put in front of EU parliament and House of Commons is a deal. Any other deal really only exists in people’s imagination.”

“The truth is what we have here is the best deal that is available both for the United Kingdom and for the European Union.

“Let’s not forget what we have here. We have an agreement that took between 18 months and two years to negotiate, it is in several parts, is over 500 pages long and as of today has the support of 28 governments.

“Anyone can have a better deal or an alternative deal in their own minds, but an agreement 500 pages long that 28 member states can sign up to, nobody has that.

“What’s on the table is the only deal that’s on the table.”

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