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By Pete Moore On February 21st, 2020

Leo Varadkar has resigned as Irish Prime Minister after failing to command a majority of MPs for his re-election.


  1. Poor Leo. He was so happy to play the role of the EU’s little helper during the Brexit talks, but just look where it has got him:

    “But the humiliation is not entirely over for Varadkar. For the moment, he stays on as caretaker leader until a government can be formed. In that capacity, it has fallen to him to negotiate the EU’s budget for the next seven years. These were never going to be easy negotiations given that the EU’s coffers have just been left with a Britain-sized hole. But if Varadkar was expecting any favours from the EU for his role in Brexit negotiations he has been left sorely disappointed. Ireland has been asked to pay more into the EU’s coffers while suffering sharp cuts both to payments for farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy and to infrastructure under EU cohesion funds. Varadkar has called the proposals ‘unacceptable’, but is unlikely to win any concessions given that Germany and a bundle of other Northern European ‘frugals’ are holding out strongly against any increased burden on them.

    The sad thing is that Varadkar was exploited and now he has been hung out to dry. During the Brexit talks, he was drafted in to do the EU’s dirty work for it. The EU hit upon the issue of the Irish border as a device to try to trap the UK in EU regulations forever and Varadkar was used in order to help exaggerate the border issue…”


  2. Indeed Peter. Leo has sown a bitter harvest. I bet he wishes he could just leave his office straight away.

  3. I can’t help wondering if Ireland’s shameless tax scamming is behind this budget hostility from Germany and France, a bit of afters as they say in football. If so, The Netherlands and Luxembourg should also expect to get a good kicking.

  4. Has the UK actually stopped paying into the EU budget?

    If not, is there a specific date when it stops paying into it?

    Or is this all being negotiated now?

  5. Phantom –

    Still paying this year but it tapers down rapidly. The EU 27 this week have been in summit to agree the budget and allocations for the next 7 years. There is no agreement and lots of division.

    Peter makes fair points above. Varadkar has been played.

  6. What utter, purblind nonsense.

    Leo and Simon led played a blinder on Brexit. The EU fell in behind Ireland’s requirements and all were met. Of course the Spectator knows this.

    Simply put, it was domestic issues that destroyed him. Too much emphasis on “the economy, stupid” when most people weren’t seeing the benefits.

  7. Simply put, it was domestic issues that destroyed him.


    Yes, Varadkar did not lose the election because of Brexit. But Ireland will get no thanks from Merkel-Macron for its slavish pro-EU stance, as the draft EU budget shows. That’s what the Spectator was pointing out.

  8. Varadkar and FG did a good job on the economy and Bexit. The economic growth rate is strong and there will be no hard border in Ireland. It is too early to tell on the EU budget as much activity takes place off stage and the Irish are very good at it.

    Ireland benefits as being the only English speaking country in the EU and will likely pick up significant inward investment. The EU has about 350 million consumers and the Brits decided to bail out, the Irish are not so unwise.

  9. Poor Leo. He was so happy to play the role of the EU’s little helper during the Brexit talks, but just look where it has got him

    I see that the normally sensible Peter has rowed in behind the despise-the-EU-no-matter-what zealots at the Spectator & ATW on this.

    Of course the fact of the matter is that both Varadker and his predecessor Enda Kelly did what they’re supposed to do and represented Ireland’s interests brilliantly in the Brexit chaos with the EU supporting their position to the tee.

    Want to know why Varadker lost the election? Have a look at this: