General Election

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Boris win is a positive thing

 Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive in Downing Street after the Conservative Party was returned to power in the General Election with an increased majority.
Yui Mok/PA Wire

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar has congratulated Boris Johnson and welcomed his outright majority after Thursday's election.

"First of all, I want to congratulate Prime Minister Johnson, it's an enormous victory for him on a personal level and a very clear result for his party," he said.

"It's a positive thing that we have decisive outcome in Britain in their elections, we had for a few years a parliament that wasn't able to form a majority around anything, now we have a majority in the House of Commons to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, and next steps will be to ratify that agreement which guarantees no border between north and south, the protection of the common travel area and British and Irish citizens rights will be protected.

"I'm keen to work very hard with Prime Minister Johnson to get the Executive and Assembly up and running again in Northern Ireland, that's absolutely crucial now and has to be a key priority in the next few weeks.

"Then we go on to the next phase of Brexit which will be negotiating a mighty new partnership between the EU and UK, and I think that can be done."

The president of the European Council said he expects a vote on the UK's Brexit agreement "as soon as possible", as world leaders commended Prime Minister Boris Johnson's General Election success.

Charles Michel congratulated the Tory leader on his victory, tweeting: "We expect a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement as soon as possible."

Mr Michel said the EU was "ready for the next phase", adding: "We will negotiate a future trade deal which ensures a true level playing field."

Asked whether a deal with the UK can be sealed in the next 12 months, Mr Michel said: "Regarding Brexit, it's not my intention to predict based on the experience of the past, but I hope that we will be able to work very hard with the British Government."

Many populist leaders sent their best wishes to Mr Johnson, with Italy's right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini tweeting: "Go Boris Go!"

Mr Salvini responded after an exit poll predicted the Conservatives' landslide victory, celebrating in Italian that the Left had been defeated in Britain.

Marine Le Pen, who heads France's National Rally party, congratulated Mr Johnson in her native language for his "overwhelming victory".

Ms Le Pen's message spoke of a people overcoming intimidation to take back their destiny.

President Donald Trump congratulated the Prime Minister on his "great win" and said the UK and US would be free to strike a "massive" new trade deal after Brexit.

Mr Trump tweeted: "This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U. Celebrate Boris!"

Ivanka Trump joined her father in congratulating Mr Johnson, tweeting: "Congratulations Prime Minister Boris Johnson!"

Bulgaria's populist centre-right Prime Minister Boyko Borissov offered congratulations to Mr Johnson and his party.

"I believe that we will continue to work well together and maintain high-level co-operation between Bulgaria and the UK," Mr Borissov tweeted.

Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney was focused on the reopening of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which has not sat since 2017.

Mr Coveney tweeted: "Congratulations to BorisJohnson on his victory in the UK General Election.

"The Irish government and my department now stand ready to seize the momentum and focus on getting ?Stormont up and running for all the people and parties in Northern Ireland."

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General Election