16/10/2019

Brexit: Varadkar Expresses Hope For A Deal

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed confidence that a Brexit deal between the UK and EU can be reached by Wednesday evening.

Speaking this afternoon, the Irish premier said he has discussed the matter with Prime Minister Boris Johnson again today and is optimistic that progress is being made. It's hoped a deal could be ratified at the European Council summit on Thursday or Friday.

Currently, the Brexit deadline remains set for 31 October, with Parliament due to sit this Saturday, 19.

Mr Varadkar's comments come as the DUP visits Downing Street for continued talks with the PM.

"There is a pathway to a possible deal but there are many issues that still need to be resolved, particularly around the consent mechanism and issues around customs and VAT," he commented.
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"I spoke with the Prime Minister this morning by phone and the European Commission and I do think we are making progress but there are issues that need to be resolved and hopefully that can be done today, allowing us to ratify it at the European Council tomorrow, and allowing the House of Commons to give its view on it on Saturday, but if it's not there is still more time.

"The 31st of October is still a few weeks away and there is a possibility of another summit before that if we need one.

"A lot of things have changed in the last three years, many twists and turns, but what's never changed is our objectives."

The Taoiseach said his key aims remain simple, including the avoidance of a hard border in Ireland, ensuring an all-island economy will continue to thrive and prosper, continued north-south cooperation as envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement and protections for the single market.

"Although time is running short I am confident these objectives can be achieved," he added.

"In the mean time, we must continue to make our plans and prepare for no deal, because we have to prepare for the worst case scenario no matter what."

Negotiators will meet at the EU summit on Thursday as talks continue.



(JG/CM)

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