BREXIT: Big Phil hits out at UK politician’s call to threaten Ireland with ‘starvation’
TOUGH-talking EU Commissioner Phil Hogan this week hit out at suggestions from a senior British politician that the UK should threaten Ireland with “starvation” as leverage in Brexit talks.
The bizarre suggestion was made by former UK International Development Minister, Priti Patel, after a report in a British newspaper said Ireland would lose 7% of its wealth or GDP in a no-deal scenario. The same report also claimed there would be food shortages in Ireland because about half this country’s food imports are routed via the UK.
Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan condemned the comments and pointed out that the UK imported 60pc of its food – with 43pc of this coming from Ireland.
“So, if she wants to advocate a policy that brings about the starvation of the British people, this is a good way of going about it,” the former Kilkenny TD told the Association of European Journalists.
“I think consumers would be horrified that a senior politician, and former minister, would take such a view of being hostile to the food requirements or the food security of the country they are residing in.”
Mr Hogan insisted the EU will “not budge” on the Irish backstop if British Prime Minister Theresa May loses this week’s crucial House of Commons vote on the draft Brexit deal.
Tuesday’s vote in the UK which will be followed by an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels on Thursday.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is due to speak to president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker tomorrow ahead of the summit.