To the surprise of literally no one, the European Union has discarded Irish leader Leo Varadkar like a soiled rag now that he is no longer of any use to it.
Varadkar, you will remember, was for a brief period the EU’s golden boy — its brightest hope of sabotaging Brexit thanks to his ingenious ruse of making customs arrangements on the Irish border the sticking point of negotiations.
As Liam Halligan pointed out here, the Irish “backstop” issue appeared suddenly and from nowhere — largely as a consequence of the meddling wannabe big-boy Varadkar becoming taioseach (prime minister).
It was only in June 2017, when May lost her majority, becoming reliant on the [Democratic Unionist Party], and Varadkar replaced Kenny, that the Irish border hit the headlines. Brussels then saw an opportunity to raise the political stakes by asserting the “impossibility” of avoiding “a hard border” unless Britain stayed in the Customs Union. That prevents the UK signing trade deals with the rest of the world, of course, while compelling us to keep sending Brussels billions of pounds each year under the EU’s Common External Tariff.
Since then, Dublin has danced religiously to the EU’s tune. Varadkar disbanded Kenny’s working groups and cranked up the rhetoric, claiming that Brexit threatened the Good Friday Agreement. Many of those responsible for that precious treaty robustly dismiss such claims. ‘This is scaremongering. I do not see a connection between this process and peace in Northern Ireland,’ said Lord Trimble, Northern Ireland’s former first minister, who won the Nobel prize for his efforts in securing peace in Ulster.
One of the consequences of the unimportance of Irish politics — who really cares what goes on in a country with a population of less than five million? — is that ambitious Irish politicians seek to punch above their weight by allying themselves to the much bigger and more influential bloc that is the EU.
Little Leo — Ireland’s very own Justin Trudeau — no doubt imagined that if he did his bit to derail Brexit by vastly exaggerating the threat posed to the Good Friday Agreement, Brussels would one day shower him with gifts.
He nearly succeeded too, as Ross Clark recalls here:
During the Brexit talks, he was drafted in to do the EU’s dirty work for it. The EU hit upon the issue of the Irish border as a device to try to trap the UK in EU regulations forever and Varadkar was used in order to help exaggerate the border issue. It never did make much sense why Britain would have to remain in full alignment with EU regulations purely to avoid a hard border in Ireland when Switzerland has a free-flowing border with several EU countries in spite of not being a member of the EU, the single market or the customs union. Even so, the EU nearly pulled off its trick. Had parliament voted for Theresa May’s deal – which even Boris and Jacob Rees-Mogg did at the third time of asking – the EU would now be rubbing its hands having neutralised the threat of a competitive, free-trading and deregulated Britain.
Instead, yesterday’s nearly-man Leo is now an absolute zero. After his general election defeat two weeks ago he has resigned as taoiseach and is only staying in place as caretaker leader till a new government can be formed. To add insult to injury, his former controllers at the EU have decided they owe him absolutely nothing for his service to their cause.
As the Express reports:
Leo Varadkar criticised European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for offering Ireland a bad proposal that saw the country contributing a lot of the EU budget without getting much back. The now-former Irish Prime Minister went on to admit that he accepts Ireland will have to pay more than other countries in the next seven years. Mr Varadkar said: “I met with President Michel and President von der Leyen last night and the proposal on the table is one we can’t accept.
“Essentially it means Ireland will contribute much more to the EU budget but will actually receive less back in terms of payments to Irish farmers and also funds for regional development and social development.”
To which there are only two rational responses:
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
We’re going to need a smaller violin.
Ireland Admits It Will Need Emergency Aid to Survive ‘No Deal’ Brexit https://t.co/Sew8I8HkK0
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 4, 2019
Follow Breitbart London on Facebook: Breitbart London