DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland achieved all its key priorities in Britain’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday, adding that its approval by the British government marked one of the better days in his career.
Speaking to reporters after British Prime Minister Theresa May won the backing of her cabinet for the draft deal, Varadkar said it was “decisive progress” that paved the way for a special European Union summit later this month.
The draft agreement represented a “satisfactory” outcome on “national priorities” Varadkar told a news conference.
“These were and are: protecting the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement; maintaining the common travel area and related benefits for Irish and British citizens; reaffirming our place at the heart of the European Union; and protecting trade, jobs and the economy,” he said.
“On each of these priorities, we have reached a satisfactory outcome today.”
Asked what the consequences would be if Britain’s parliament defied May and voted down the deal, Varadkar said the mettle and courage of the British prime minister had consistently been underestimated.
Asked to describe his own mood, he said he felt “pretty good”, adding: “This is one of the better days in politics.”
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Writing by Graham Fahy; Editing by Kevin Liffey)