Ireland welcomes Brexit deal, calling it 'a good compromise'
Taoiseach Michael Martin wished Great Britain all the best in a "new chapter in its history" - Tom Honan / PA
The Irish government welcomed the Brexit deal, saying it was "a good compromise" protecting the Good Friday Agreement, despite the corporate sector warning that trade with the UK would suffer.
Michael Martin, the Taoiseach, said that while he respected Britain's decision to leave the EU, he "deeply regrets" the outcome.
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“The UK was an important member of the European Union and Ireland and the UK have often worked closely together on many EU issues. However, as we near the end of the transition period, I wish Great Britain all the best in this new chapter in its history. "
“Britain will always be a close friend and partner. Our people, our history and our economy are deeply interwoven. As we move into the next phase of our relationship, we will work together to make sure it stays deep and strong. "
Leo Varadkar, the deputy prime minister, said it was "a sad but significant day". He added that the Northern Ireland Protocol is a confirmation of the Irish government's approach to negotiation as it ensures that there is no hard border on the island. In a series of tweets, Mr Varadkar congratulated the Irish diplomatic service and EU negotiators.
He said the deal was the best possible outcome after four years of lengthy negotiations. "A level playing field secured. The UK must comply with EU standards to maintain access to the full EU market. Hopefully the agreement can be ratified by the NY European Parliament. However, Brexit will never be "closed". It will require future agreements and disputes that need to be resolved, ”he said in a tweet.
Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, said she would like to see the details of the deal, "but it is good news and should be welcomed as such".
Tim Callinan, head of the Irish Farmers' Association, said it was a "great relief" that an agreement had been reached, but the outcome had little to celebrate. Around 60% of Irish food and beverage exports go to the UK market.
"We have real concerns about how non-tariff trade barriers will affect our ability to keep trade flows moving. The scenes in Dover this week with hundreds of trucks being secured and freight being delayed are not a good sign," said Callinan. Green lanes have already been implemented for the export of food. These need to be prioritized after January 1st, "he added.
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