Europe

'He shat on the carpet': Irish media slam Mike Pence over Brexit comments

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The US vice president has been slammed by Irish media outlets as a guest who 'shat on the new carpet' following his Brexit comments.

US Vice President Mike Pence has been slammed by Irish media outlets for his support of Brexit and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with one columnist declaring he 'shat on the carpet' during his tour of Ireland this week.

Irish Times columnist Miriam Lord likened Mr Pence to ‘a much-anticipated visitor to your home … you’ve discovered has shat on the new carpet in the spare room.’

The Guardian called Mr Pence’s visit and comments “awkward”, while an Irish Examiner column accused the vice president of trying to “humiliate” Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Irish Central asked: “Did VP Pence betray Ireland in his Brexit comments during Irish trip?” in a headline.

But Lord’s criticism of the US vice president was the harshest.

“As Pence read from the autocue and Irish eyes definitely stopped smiling,” she wrote. 

“It was clear he was channelling His Master’s Voice. Trump is a fan of Brexit and of Boris.”

U.S Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen Pence, second left, his sister Anne Pence Poynter, left, and his mother Nancy Pence Fritsch, right, arrive in Doonbeg, Ireland
U.S Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen Pence, second left, his sister Anne Pence Poynter, left, and his mother Nancy Pence Fritsch.
PA

At a news conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Mr Pence urged Ireland and the European Union to "negotiate in good faith" to reach a Brexit agreement "that respects the United Kingdom's sovereignty and minimizes disruption to commerce".

Prior to Mr Pence’s comments, Mr Varadkar warned "the return to the hard border on our islands is a very real risk. And I know that you understand the impacts that a hard border could have on this island".

Mr Varadkar also warned hard borders would impact "the free movement of people" and trade and he expressed concern the Good Friday Agreement and "peace could unravel".

He asked Mr Pence to "bring that message back to Washington".

"This isn't a problem of our making," he said.

And While Mr Pence said he recognised "the unique challenges" on the northern border, he underscored United States support for the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

“When Brexit is complete the United States will have a new free trade agreement with the United Kingdom,” he said.

Ms Lord said it was clear Mr Pence was 'channeling His Master’s Voice' referring to US president Donald Trump who is a fan of Brexit and of UK PM Boris Johnson.
Ms Lord said it was clear Mr Pence was 'channeling His Master’s Voice' referring to US president Donald Trump who is a fan of Brexit and of UK PM Boris Johnson.
AAP

“And so too we hope to have your continued support as we negotiate a new trade deal with the European Union.

“The United States is anxious to negotiate a free trade agreement with the European Union that will lower trade barriers and allow our trans-Atlantic economies to prosper more than ever before.”

Following the news conference, Mr Pence spoke with reporters outside the residence for the US Ambassador to Ireland and defended his decision to stay at Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg while in Ireland amid criticism by Democrats that he is enriching Mr Trump at the expense of the taxpayer.

Mr Pence, who is traveling with his wife, mother and sister, said he has deep family ties to the village of Doonbeg and it was "important" to spend at least one night there.

"I was pleased to have the opportunity to return to that family hometown, to be able to stay there and not just on a personal level but also to do it, do it in a way that helps me celebrate with the people of Ireland," he said.

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