The Irish Government will work with whoever is Prime Minister of the UK and whichever parties are in power, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said.

Acting as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced with a flood of resignations from his government on Wednesday, Mr Varadkar made it clear that Ireland would work with whoever occupies Number 10 in Downing Street.

“We are not going to comment on internal affairs in other political parties or other countries,” he said in relation to political events in the UK.

He said that while Britain’s exit from the EU was deeply regrettable, it remained an important economic partner and a very important security partner.

Gas supplies

With 70% of Ireland’s gas supplies going through the UK, Mr Varadkar said he had not had any discussions with the British government about a potential threat to supplies as that was more the responsibility of ministers Eamon Ryan and Simon Coveney.

“I think it’s worth noting that the gas pipeline that goes from Britain to Ireland also serves Northern Ireland,” he said.

Mr Varadkar said that while there was no suggestion of a supply cut, if the UK cut supplies to Ireland, they would also have to cut supplies to Northern Ireland.

He added that if Russian gas was cut off in continental Europe, it would affect Ireland.

“We have plans for what we will do in this scenario. It’s not a scenario we want to be in, but we have a contingency plan for what we’re going to do in terms of what areas are going to be prioritized for energy and gas and so on,” he said.

“Crazy Politics”

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Europe, Thomas Byrne, said it appeared Mr Johnson’s days were numbered.

Appearing on RTÉ Today with Claire ByrneMr Byrne said the events of the last day or two suggested there would be a different administration in Britain to deal with on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He said that meant there would be no difficulty, but he could not see another prime minister continuing to violate international law.

“I just think it’s a crazy policy that’s really doing the UK a huge amount of damage around the world and it adds to it today,” he said.

Speaking at an IBEC business event in Dublin, UK Ambassador Paul Johnston said the EU’s refusal to reopen the deadlock was the reason the talks had stalled.

He said it was also important to say that in terms of the movement of goods there was a real problem affecting politics in Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnston said the British government would prefer a negotiated solution, but legislation to withdraw the protocol was still being developed.

He said the protocol creates political problems in Northern Ireland and while the protocol works between north and south, it does not work between Northern Ireland and the UK.

Mr Johnston said it was clear to him that the UK Government wanted the Northern Ireland Assembly up and running and believed it should be up and running now.

“The government says very clearly that the executive power must be formed without preconditions. We do not approve of the executive branch being delayed by disagreements in the protocol,” he said.

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