As former unionist member of parliament and the European Parliament, Lord Kilclooney, Twitted a racist comment over the Indian origin of Irish Prime Minister, Mr. Leo Varadkar.
Varadkar’s father was born in Mumbai. Lord Kilclooney has since withdrawn his Tweet.
The response of Prime Minister Varadkar on Saturday was that Brexit campaigners focus on his person because they do not have a substantive position on Brexit.
“When people don’t want to deal with you on substance and on facts they attack you personally and attack your style,” he told the public broadcaster RTE, suggesting that Brexiteers have not thought through how the UK can work outside the EU after 20 years of campaigning.
On Friday, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, made clear that Dublin will have to approve any deal between the UK and the EU, especially on the matter of the Irish border. “If the UK offer is unacceptable for Ireland, it will also be unacceptable for the EU,” Tusk said.
Addressing the Irish press, Tusk added in Irish Gaelic that there is no “there is no strength without unity.”
On Monday the UK faces a deadline to submit an offer for the Irish border. The Times of London reported last week that London has already submitted a written proposal that could see Northern Ireland remaining part of the Single Market and the Customs Union. That has infuriated unionists in Belfast, who do not want to see the country drifting away from the United Kingdom.
Dublin’s demands have triggered the rage of the DUP, which lends its parliamentary support to Prime Minister Theresa May. Unionist politicians have reacted with vitriolic attacks against the Republic and Republicans, raising tensions in an island that has failed to form a unity government for little under a year.
Several members of the DUP are even threatening Theresa May’s government with a withdrawal of their support. The Irish government has made clear that it is in the best interest of Ireland that the UK – Ireland’s biggest trading partner – gets a good deal from Brexit negotiations, but the border issue has become a red line.