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I'LL KEEP KENNY'S BREXIT PROMISE; Taoiseach also vows North will not see return of Direct Rule.

Byline: FERGHAL BLANEY Political Reporter

LEO Varadkar has promised he will prioritise the "Kenny text" in Brexit talks and pledged the North will never see a return to direct rule.

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny had received a guarantee that would let residents across the border rejoin Ireland in the EU if the island was unified under the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking to the There two - a press at Government Buildings, Mr Varadkar said the Kenny text was an assurance from Brussels that the six counties could join the EU in the way East Germany did after it merged with the West.

The Taoiseach also insisted there could be no return to direct rule from Westminster because the Good Friday Agreement doesn't allow it.

He said: "There are two options - the first option is another set of elections, which is an option, although it's hard to see what outcome would arise from that that would put us in a better position.

"The second option is convening the British-Irish Governmental conference, which would allow the two governments to implement the Good Friday Agreement in the absence of an Assembly and Executive in Northern Ireland.

"Essentially the GFA provides for matters that are not devolved to be dealt with by the British-Irish Governmental conference and that's what we will seek.

"We won't be supporting direct rule. We didn't support direct rule.

"All we'd be seeking is the implementation of the GFA which as you know is an international agreement between two governments endorsed by referendum in both parts of the island."

Mr Varadkar has been increasingly appealing to nonunionists in his speeches lately.

It follows another high-profile comment in the wake of the Brexit border deal promising he would not "abandon Northern Nationalists" as had "been done in the past".

The move is seen as a bid to steal votes from Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein, which are more republican in their outlook than Fine Gael.

news@irishmirror.ie

There are two options - a fresh poll or the British-Irish conference LEO VARADKAR speaking in dublin

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PLEDGE Leo Varadkar will keep Enda Kenny's guarantee over united Ireland

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 22, 2017
Words:355
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