A DUP MP has said he regrets his choice of language after he branded Taioseach Leo Varadkar “a nutcase”.
Sammy Wilson also accused the Irish prime minister of “naivety, inexperience, arrogance on his part” for siding with EU negotiators during the Brexit negotiations.
The DUP’s Brexit spokesman made the comments on Wednesday after Mr Varadkar’s speech to the European Parliament, where the taioseach said the UK could not “backslide” on border commitments made during last year’s negotiations.
According to European affairs newspaper Politico, Mr Wilson said the DUP’s view of the Brexit negotiation process has changed radically since Mr Varadkar came into office.
The East Antrim MP and former finance minister added: “It was always our view at the very start of this process that the biggest ally we would have when it came to negotiating with the European Union was Dublin, and indeed that always was the impression we got when Enda Kenny was in power, but since this nutcase Varadkar has taken over that things have all changed.”
However, Mr Wilson backtracked on those remarks yesterday, stating: “I regret my choice of language.
“Upon reflection, I should have said Leo Varadkar’s EU policies defy logic rather than the language I used.”
The DUP veteran said Mr Varadkar’s approach “may make him popular in Brussels”, but warned it would “eventually destroy Ireland”.
Last month, Mr Wilson told the News Letter that relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic were at their lowest ebb in 25 years thanks to Dublin’s “arrogant” approach to the Brexit talks.
He also accused Mr Varadkar and Irish deputy premier Simon Coveney of being “cynical, aggressive, green and partisan”.