On Monday, as the row regarding the Irish border continued to heighten, the deputy prime minister of Ireland has called the inflammatory claim of David Davis, the Brexit secretary, that Sinn Fein has influenced the Dublin government in the discussion on Brexit “nonsense.”
According to a Times report, on Monday, Davis informed a conference that the government of Leo Varadkar has “quite a strong influence from Sinn Fein” in the context of negotiations regarding Brexit.
Simon Coveney, the Irish deputy prime minister, said during an interview with RTE Radio on Tuesday that the comments of Davis were “way off the mark.”
He stated: “The idea that the Irish government has its approach to Brexit influenced or dictated by Sinn Fein is a nonsense.”
Coveney also pointed to the fact that Davis has never visited Ireland once ever since he was appointed as Brexit secretary in 2016.
He stated: “Perhaps it would be helpful if David came to Dublin and we could talk about Irish politics and how it works here.”
The party of Republican Sinn Fein backs the unification of the island of Ireland and supported Remain during the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
Looking for a solution to avoid a hard border emerging in Ireland has been the most significant sticking-point during the Brexit negotiations.
Peace between the north and south of Ireland — which is enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement — could be at risk if customs checks and a physical infrastructure emerge between the two countries once Northern Ireland leaves the European Union along with the rest of the United Kingdom.
The government of Theresa May is yet to suggest a solution which will avoid a hard border in the event of a hard Brexit.