Mr Varadkar said 'there can be no backsliding' on the Northern Ireland protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement, reported state-broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE). He said the withdrawal agreement is an international treaty and 'we expect the British government to honour that in full'.
At issue is the British government's failure to require ports to implement checks on goods, a failure that would cast the Irish government, as EU agents, in the unpopular role as sole impediment to a trade that has continued unimpeded even during the troubles of the 1960-90s.
This British refusal to take an unpopular step leaves the EU, and its agent, Irish Customs, left to create barriers to trade where none existed before, and unlike the past, be unable to blame the British for the inconvenience.
James Slack, Downing Street spokesman, insisted businesses in Northern Ireland will have unfettered access to the market of mainland Britain. And, he said, the government had not asked any ports to prepare for new checks on goods moving between Britain and Northern Ireland.
That may raise fears among European Union officials that the UK is trying to back away from promises made during the its divorce from the EU, reports Bloomberg.
'We will comply with our obligations,' Mr Slack told reporters in London. Mr Slack indicated that regaining Britain's political independence and freedom from the EU's legal system will take priority over any trade.
'The UK's primary objective in the negotiations is to ensure we restore economic and political independence on January 1, 2021,' he said.