James McClean urges Leo Varadkar to stand-up to 'offensive' Brexit

James McClean (left) and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
James McClean (left) and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
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Derry man and Republic of Ireland international, James McClean, has implored Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to stand-up to an "offensive" and "unacceptable" Brexit.

McClean and more than 200 people from the North sent an open letter to Mr. Varadkar warning him that Brexit "threatens to reinforce partition on this island".

The letter was published in both The Irish News and The Irish Times newspapers.

Olympic boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon also signed the letter.

"The fact that a majority of voters in the north of Ireland voted to remain within the EU must not be ignored," reads the letter.

"Against the stated will of a majority of voters in the north, and notwithstanding recent announcements, Brexit pushes us all into uncharted territory, with huge uncertainty for business and the economy, and continuing doubts about what this will mean in reality for Irish and European citizens living in this region.

"We, our children and grandchildren should not be forced out of the EU against our democratic will.

"All of this is offensive and unacceptable to us and many others."

The signatories added that they had "no confidence" in the British government being able to impartially broker peace in the North.

"We appeal urgently to you, Taoiseach, and to the Irish government, to reassure us of your commitment to stand for equality and a human rights based society and your determination to secure and protect the rights of all citizens in the north of Ireland," they said.

"Despite the British government's co-equal and internationally binding responsibility for overseeing the peace process with the Irish Government, we have no confidence in its commitment to do so with impartiality or objectivity," they said.