Bertie Ahern on Ireland leaving EU: 'We're mad, but we're not that mad'

Written on 28 July 2017 in Diary
Diary

"We're mad, but we're not that mad."

The former Prime Minister of Ireland has said there is “no prospect” of Ireland following Britain's example of leaving the European Union.

Bertie Ahern rubbished suggestions that Ireland could exit the bloc by saying: “we’re mad, but we’re not that mad”.

The comments come after DUP MP Ian Paisley said Dublin would have to choose between quitting the EU and having a hard border with Northern Ireland.

The border with Northern Ireland has thrown up a challenge for the Brexit negotiations

Ahern told Sky News: "There's no prospect of the Republic of Ireland leaving the European Union. That's not going to happen. There is no support, thankfully, for us to get involved in an act of insanity."

He added: "We're mad, but we're not that mad. And we're not going to do that now or in the future - and never."

Dublin ministers are pushing for the Irish Sea to become the post-Brexit border with the UK but Philip Hammond said this morning this would not be “acceptable”.

The proposal would leave the 310-mile border between Ireland and Northern Ireland open but put a major barrier between the province and the rest of the UK.

The suggestion has drawn anger from the Democratic Unionist Party - which is propping up the Prime Minister’s minority government as part of a £1.5bn deal.

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