Feeling nervous, Leo? Varadkar and Martin TERRIFIED by no deal - 'Bet on Remain ...

IRELAND's Taoiseach Micheal Martin and predecessor Leo Varadkar are "extremely nervous" at the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place with talks set to resume this week, a former diplomat has said.

PUBLISHED: 08:00, Mon, Sep 7, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:31, Mon, Sep 7, 2020

And Ray Bassett - who believes Dublin in the past had "bet on Remain and lost" - said Ireland's troubles were summed up by the fiasco over Phil Hogan's forced resignation as EU trade commissioner, agreeing with Mr Varadkar's assessment it was now extremely unlikely the country would retain the influential portfolio once his successor is appointed. UK negotiator David Frost and EU counterpart Michel Barnier are due to meet in London this week, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab calling it a "moment of reckoning."


Mr Frost yesterday warned Brussels the UK was not afraid to walk away if an agreement which includes commitments to key issues including fishing rights and state aid cannot be struck, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly turning the screw by threatening to tear up sections of the Withdrawal Agreement relating to the Northern Ireland protocol.

Mr Bassett, Ireland's former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, told Express.co.uk there was no doubt Mr Varadkar, Mr Martin and others would be monitoring the situation closely and with no small degree of anxiety.

He said: "There must be extreme nervousness in Government circles in Dublin.

Leo Varadkar Micheal MartinLeo Varadkar and Micheal Martin will be watching events in London nervously, said Ray Bassett (Image: GETTY)

Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson is threatening to pull the plug on a key aspect of the Withdrawal Agreement (Image: GETTY)

They bet heavily on the Remainers in London and have lost the bet

Ray Bassett

"They bet heavily on the Remainers in London and have lost the bet.

"I think nobody can be in any doubt but that the demands Barnier is making on fisheries and on the EU having control of the EU State aids in Britain are undeliverable.

"The prospects do not look good for Ireland in 2021."

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Phil Hogan Ursula von der LeyenPhil Hogan speaks to Ursula von der Leyen last year (Image: GETTY)

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Mr Hogan was forced to quit after details emerged of a social function at a golf club in the west of Ireland which was attended by roughly 80 people, in breach of coronavirus restrictions banning indoor gatherings of more than six, in a controversy rapidly dubbed "golfgate".

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