Varadkar: EU must be open to new UK Brexit proposals

Apr 05, 2019, 01:17
Varadkar: EU must be open to new UK Brexit proposals

The Taoiseach will welcome the Chancellor to Farmleigh House in Dublin this afternoon and, according to the government, the two leaders will reflect on the latest Brexit developments and look ahead to next week's crucial summit of European Union leaders.

It comes as efforts intensify to find a way through the Brexit impasse.

"Ahead of their formal meeting, the Taoiseach and Chancellor will participate in a round-table discussion with people from Northern Ireland and the border area, who will share their personal experience and perspectives on the impact any return to a hard border would have on border communities and businesses", the spokesman said.

She stressed that ultimately "the solution has to be found by Great Britain itself" and expressed hope that Prime Minister Theresa May "will be successful".

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Chancellor Merkel will have a tete-a-tete will the Taoiseach and a number of meetings during her visit to Dublin.

Mr Varadkar, who met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday, said he was "heartened" by the continuing "enormous French support" for Ireland during the Brexit negotiations.

"We are working very closely with Irish authorities to try and perform controls away from the border if at all possible", an European Union official, who did not wish to be named, said last week.

However, the British government only has until the end of next week to come up with a plan - with European Union leaders to meet next Wednesday to discuss the situation.

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But she will also politely ask questions of him about how Dublin intends to protect the European single market if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Varadkar said, however, that the withdrawal agreement itself "cannot be reopened".

The EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said Tuesday that the EU was working with Ireland "on a unilateral basis in the event of no deal, to know where we can do these checks", but refused to elaborate further.

The Taoiseach, meanwhile, said there's still time for the United Kingdom to come up with a plan to avoid a no-deal exit.

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"It is important to hear their voices as we work together to deal with the challenges that Brexit presents".