Foreign Office officials 'told Dublin to ignore Boris Johnson' on Brexit

Posted On: 
30th November 2017

Officials in the Foreign Office told Dublin to “ignore” Boris Johnson when he speaks about Brexit, it has been reported.

Boris Johnson disagreed with his Irish counterpart earlier this month
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary disagreed with his Irish counterpart Simon Coveney about when the island's border issues should be settled during a press conference together earlier this month.

But ahead of the visit, staff in Mr Johnson's own department told the Irish government “not to listen to whatever he had to say,” according to Sky News.

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The report is the latest embarrassment for Mr Johnson after a string of gaffes and a major blunder earlier this month that threatened to cost him his job.

Sky said Whitehall officials told their counterparts to “ignore the public utterances” of the Foreign Secretary and “not to mind a word of what he says”.

But a Foreign Office spokesman said: "These claims are not true or supported by any sources from the Foreign Office – either on or off-the-record."

Mr Johnson was a leading figure in the official campaign to leave the EU but, despite his apparent protestations, has played a largely minor part in the Brexit negotiations since.

Earlier this month a leaked document based on discussions between Irish ministers and their EU counterparts revealed widespread dismay at how negotiations between Brussels and London were proceeding.

It said senior officials were alarmed by the “chaos in the Conservative government” alongside other concerning claims.

Meanwhile, the DUP warned today that its confidence and supply deal could be at risk if its demands on Brexit are not listened to.