Home ireland Varadkar: Ireland won’t be caught off guard in any DUP deal

Varadkar: Ireland won’t be caught off guard in any DUP deal

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Varadkar: Ireland won’t be caught off guard in any DUP deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he trusts UK prime minister Rishi Sunak to keep Ireland informed in any negotiation to encourage the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to return to powersharing.

The two leaders met for a brief engagement on the margins of a European Political Community summit in Moldova.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland and the UK were working to get Northern Ireland’s political institutions up and running by September but added there were “no guarantees”.

“I want to see them up and running, so does the Prime Minister, so do majority of people in Northern Ireland.

“Lots of problems being faced by people in Northern Ireland that are best solved by the politicians in that place, working together. And we’re here to support that in any way we can.”

The DUP is blocking the powersharing institutions in protest at post-Brexit trading arrangements.

Asked if Mr Sunak had given an indication as to what measures the UK government is preparing to encourage the return to powersharing, Mr Varadkar said he trusted the UK prime minister that the Republic will not be caught “off guard” over any assurances to the DUP.

“We’ve said we would just like to be aware of that so we’re not caught off guard or by surprise, and that there’s nothing that would concern us in terms of the integrity of Good Friday Agreements, and I fully trust the prime minister in that regard.”

He said that it would “make sense” for a financial package to be put in place if the Executive is re-established.

“There’s a big budget deficit there, lots of challenges in healthcare, housing, education, public pay.”

Mr Varadkar added: “Too many executives have failed or fallen, we want this one to last its term and be a success.

“And as I’ve indicated before, the Irish Government is willing to make a contribution to particular projects to help with that.”

For example, he said Ireland is willing to contribute to the A5 road upgrade, Narrow Water Bridge and the Ulster University Magee Campus.