22:25 GMT02 July 2020
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    Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed doubts that the EU and UK will be able to strike a Brexit deal before the Halloween deadline.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Varadkar are set to meet for further talks later this week, with both sides aiming to circumnavigate the perennial obstacle that is the potential implementation of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    But with the plans drafted by Johnson’s team so far being deemed unsatisfactory by Brussels; is the Taoiseach right to be pessimistic?

    Sputnik spoke with UKIP Scotland leader Donald MacKay to get his views on the matter.

    Sputnik: Will the EU accept Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal?

    Donald MacKayI think the deal will not be accepted because maybe not surprisingly, I take a somewhat cynical view of this, I do not believe in the principal that the EU would like the UK to leave on a favourable arrangement because if they did that; there would be a queue at the door of other countries wanting to leave.

    The EU will make it as difficult as possible and I would suspect that on the 31s of October, the UK will still be in the EU, whatever people say or don’t say.

    Sputnik: How could the Irish backstop issue be resolved?

    Donald MacKay: As far as the backstop is concerned; Northern Ireland is an integral part of the UK and should be treated exactly the same and this so called “new deal” is really nothing more than a rehash of the Theresa May deal, and I would say that it should not be acceptable, I’m surprised that the DUP are even considering it.

    We should stick to our guns and leave as a United Kingdom under the same terms. Who wants the border in the first place? Why is it our problem? Why don’t we just leave? If somebody else wants to set up a border; let them set up a border.

    What if the UK’s government leaves and doesn’t do anything at all? Whose problem is it? I would suggest that the EU would then have the dilemma from their point of view of setting up some kind of border, or some kind of checks, but if they choose to do that; that’s for them to do.

    It’s as if it’s our problem, but it’s not; it’s the EU’s problem.

    Sputnik: Does Boris Johnson have a chance of winning the next general election?

    Donald MacKay: A general election will be called anyway regardless of what happens. He certainly would have a good chance of winning, but he will have a much better chance of winning if he reaches out to people who are on the argument of “let’s leave without any detours”, in other words the parties like our own party, who are in favour of this.

    If he doesn’t do that; then his chances of winning are reduced, but yes I still think that he would win.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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