Following the leak of a letter from British Prime Minister Theresa May to the Leadership of the DUP, Fianna Fáil Brexit Spokesperson Lisa Chambers TD has called on Tánaiste Simon Coveney to explain what she has described as an apparent contradiction between what is being said publicly and privately about the Backstop arrangement.

Deputy Chambers commented, “When I expressed my party’s concern about the Taoiseach’s change of tone and language about the Backstop last week, he and a succession of Government ministers moved quickly to dismiss these concerns. We were told that nothing had changed.

“However, in the extracts published by The Times newspaper this morning, Prime Minister May describes the Backstop in the following terms:

‘Your letter refers to the backstop as being a permanent arrangement enshrined in international law. We should be clear that the backstop would only ever be temporary.’

“In a spirit of being constructive and responsible, I would call on the Tánaiste to move quickly to explain his understanding of this statement by the Prime Minister and explain how it accords with his repeated assurances that the Backstop is ‘cast iron’ and cannot be time limited,” concluded Chambers.