Boris Johnson’s ascension to PM ‘raises enormous fears’, according to Irish opposition leader

Boris Johnson and Irish opposition leader Micheál Martin
Bryan Wall

The leader of Ireland’s opposition has voiced his concerns about a UK government headed by Boris Johnson.

Micheál Martin, the leader of Fianna Fáil, said Johnson’s election to the premiership “raises enormous fears” about Ireland’s relationship with the UK.

A lack of understanding

Martin made the comments during a speech at the annual MacGill Summer School. Referring to Johnson’s time as foreign secretary, Martin revealed that Johnson:

failed to show the slightest level of understanding about the operations of the Good Friday Agreement or the deep problems raised by Brexit.

But he went further, declaring that Johnson as prime minister:

raises enormous fears for the future of relations between the governments and also London’s policy towards Northern Ireland.

Martin did praise Johnson for being “single-minded”. But he went on to say Johnson has no idea “how to promote prosperity and reconciliation in Northern Ireland” and that:

He has consistently, in my view, understated the impact of Brexit on North/South relations and on the island of Ireland.

Johnson: A history of racist language

Martin was not the only Irish politician to publicise their worries about Johnson’s elevation to prime minister. Sinn Féin MP Mickey Brady said that Johnson “is a British problem” that the British parliament and people have to deal with.

Speaking during an interview on RT, he also criticised Johnson’s history of racist and discriminatory comments, contending that he’s:

appalled by some of the statements that Boris Johnson has come out with in the past.

Other Irish politicians were more blunt in their assessment of Johnson and his new position. Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit (PBP) asserted that Johnson is a “clear and present danger to Ireland”.

Brexit and Ireland

All of this shows there’s a lot of concern about what effect Brexit will have on Ireland. Johnson has continuously pushed for a hard Brexit. And a hard Brexit would be devastating for the Irish economy.

An Irish thinktank published a report in March highlighting what Brexit will do to Ireland. It discovered that no matter what kind of Brexit happens, it will negatively impact the country. In a no-deal situation, the output of the Irish economy would reportedly shrink by 4.8% and there’d be “downward pressure on wages”. It also suggested that unemployment levels would rise and “government revenue from taxes” would fall.

That’s not even taking into account the continual ignorance of some key pro-Brexit figures when it comes to basic facts about Ireland. Johnson is the epitome of this. And as a result of his new position, Ireland could now be in even greater danger.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – Foreign and Commonwealth Office/ Flickr – Web Summit

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