09/09/2019

Brexit On The Agenda For UK & Irish PMs

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited Ireland for his first meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar since he entered Downing Street.

The agenda for the day was dominated by Brexit with the October deadline, the possibility of no-deal and Northern Ireland's political stalemate amongst the issues discussed by the two premieres.

Mr Johnson promised the UK would not impose any checks on the border and urged the EU to make the same commitment, but said he did believe democracy would be damaged if the UK's withdrawal was delayed further than 31 October.

The Prime Minister also said he was aware of the consequences of a no-deal Brexit and "wanted to find a deal".

"We must restore Stormont and we must come out of the EU on 31 October, or else permanent damage will be done in the UK to trust in our democratic system," he added.
News Image
Mr Varadkar and Mr Johnson spoke privately over breakfast before joining their delegations for another half-hour meeting.

"While they agreed that the discussions are at an early stage, common ground was established in some areas although significant gaps remain," a joint statement read.

"Ireland and the UK are committed to securing an agreement between the European Union and the UK and recognise that negotiations take place through the Brussels Task Force.

"They also shared their commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and the restoration of the power-sharing institutions of Northern Ireland."

During his statement outside Government buildings, Mr Varadkar insisted that "the backstop is critical" and added that no alternative has been put forward by the UK. The Irish PM said there is no such thing as a clean break if the UK leaves with or without a deal.



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 November 2015
Man Arrested In Wales Over NI Drugs Find
A 37-year-old man has been arrested in Wales in relation to a 1kg drugs find in Northern Ireland in 2011. The arrest is part of an investigation into the seizure of 1kg of high purity cocaine in Bangor, County Down, in February 2011. The drugs are believed to have been sent to Northern Ireland from Ecuador in South America.
07 November 2014
Executive Committed To New Training Centre
Stormont has said it is committed to building a new police, fire and prison service training college. It follows an announcement at the start of November by the steering group in charge of the construction plans, that the £130 million facility would not go ahead.
07 October 2014
British-Irish Visa Scheme Announced
The UK government has announced a new British-Irish Visa scheme that will allow visitors from China and India to travel freely between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
17 April 2013
Long Calls For NI Wild Animals Circus Ban
East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long has welcomed news of a ban on wild animals in circuses in England, saying she hopes it will be introduced in Northern Ireland. The ban was initially announced following an oral question tabled by Ms Long in the House of Commons in March 2012.
17 January 2013
40 Jobs Created By Legal Centre Expansion
30-40 new jobs could be created in Northern Ireland, following the news that legal model firm Axiom is to expand its Centre of Excellence. Axiom will open a new 3,000 sq ft office in Belfast and is expected to have up to 30-40 new jobs in place during the first half of this year.