Published: Sun, January 21, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

European Union keeps up offer for United Kingdom to stay

European Union keeps up offer for United Kingdom to stay

Mr. Varadkar's comments led to an immediate and fierce online backlash from both publically prominent and lay Brexit supporters. The East Antrim MP accused Mr Varadkar of "naivety and arrogance" in an interview with news website Politico. However, he also said the Taoiseach's approach will "eventually destroy Ireland".

Speaking to Politico, Mr Wilson claimed there had been a change of tone from the Dublin government since Mr Varadkr took office in June previous year.

"Upon reflection, I should have said Leo Varadkar's European Union policies defy logic rather than the language I used".

During exchanges in Strasbourg, Varadkar rejected an accusation by the U.K. Independence Party's Nigel Farage that he was conspiring with the likes of former British premier Tony Blair to thwart Britain's departure from the European Union by resisting London's efforts to keep full access to EU markets.

Mr Wilson on Thursday told the Belfast Telegraph that he regretted his choice of language when speaking about Mr Varadkar. "On this occasion he used language which he accepts was wrong and and regrets the language he has used".

The taoiseach had warned "there can be no backsliding" from Britain over commitments to keep the border open after Brexit.

"I have been quoted publicly that we need to have a good working relationship with the DUP", he said.

The quotes were put to Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney who was in Belfast to announce a fresh set of talks to restore government.

Some observers were quick to point out that Ireland's wartime government under then Prime Minister Eamon De Valera maintained a position of at least formal neutrality.

"Tusk and I once again reached out to the British government and said that if the British people, the British Parliament, the British government, wish for another way than Brexit, we would be prepared to discuss it".

According to Varadkar, not only countries such as Hungary and Bulgaria are taxing companies with lower rates than Ireland, but also France, whose president Emmanuel Macron was particularly critical of non-payment of taxes by United States technology giants, offers so many "loopholes" in the laws for some corporations, that in practice the rate may be lower.

"We look forward to constructive engagement on those issues that are before us".

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