Martin accuses Hogan of playing politics after Brexit comments

Election row: EU trade commissioner rejects FF claims of ‘coded partisan intervention’

An election row has erupted over Brexit interventions being made by Ireland's EU commissioner, Phil Hogan.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has claimed comments from Mr Hogan were a "coded partisan intervention" but this was rejected by Mr Hogan and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

Mr Hogan is a former Fine Gael minister and was first nominated by former taoiseach Enda Kenny to the European Commission. He served a five-year term as agriculture commissioner.

He was nominated last year by Mr Kenny's successor, Leo Varadkar, and has taken up the trade portfolio in the new commission.


Earlier this week, ahead of Britain's formal departure from the EU on Friday, Mr Hogan said he is "very concerned" with what he saw in Ireland regarding Brexit now, urging people to "come out of their slumber" and saying a "crash out" Brexit is still a possibility at the end of the year.

A transition period will still see the UK remain in the European single market and customs union, but Mr Hogan said this week: “I’m very concerned at what I see in Ireland the moment. There’s a lot of complacency in the system. Commentators and the media and the public generally don’t seem to realise we’re starting the most difficult part of the negotiations.”

Mr Martin told reporters this morning: “I think Phil Hogan now should stay out of domestic Irish politics now for the next week. That was, to me, a coded partisan intervention.”

Mr Hogan told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke that he had never intervened in domestic politics and Mr Donohoe said Mr Hogan is only “outlining the reality of where our country faces”.