DUP MP Sammy Wilson has urged Boris Johnson to tell Leo Varadkar “no, no, no”, after the taoiseach suggested three ways that a no-deal Brexit could be avoided.
On a visit to Northern Ireland on Tuesday, Mr Varadkar said he does not believe a no-deal Brexit is inevitable, despite the stalling of the talks process.
Speaking during a press conference at Hillsborough Castle, Mr Varadkar said a no-deal outcome could be avoided, either by ratifying the current Withdrawal Agreement, agreeing a further extension, or revoking Article 50.
Mr Johnson has already ruled out any of those options.
And DUP Brexit spokesperson Mr Wilson has called on the PM to reiterate this position to the taoiseach.
He told the News Letter: “These are three options which it is easy to say no to. All of them involve a surrender to the EU.
“Revoking Article 50 means overturning the referendum result, accepting the current Withdrawal Agreement means you split up the UK, and the extension simply kicks the issue down the road until a new government comes in, which is what the EU would love to happen.
“None of them are realistic in any way, and the PM ought to do the same as Margaret Thatcher did and say ‘no, no, no’ to all of them.”
Mr Varadkar said the EU position remained that the Withdrawal Agreement was not open for renegotiation.
The government has insisted the EU must “change its stance” to secure a Brexit deal, as officials in Brussels reportedly suggested Britain is focused on a no-deal exit.
Downing Street has rejected claims it is unwilling to negotiate with the EU and wants talks to fail to allow a no-deal Brexit.
The PM has pledged to leave the EU by the deadline of October 31, with or without a deal, and has refused to engage with the EU until they drop the Northern Ireland backstop – something the EU side has said is “unacceptable”.
Mr Wilson said this approach by Mr Johnson is “a great tactic,” adding: “If Theresa May had engaged in the same kind of tactics, the EU would have buckled by now.
“The problem with Mrs May is that she never showed any resolve in these negotiations and the EU took advantage of her.”