Home / UK / ‘Still a very wide gap’ between UK and EU on Brexit deal, warns Leo Varadkar after meeting with Boris Johnson in New York – Independent.ie

‘Still a very wide gap’ between UK and EU on Brexit deal, warns Leo Varadkar after meeting with Boris Johnson in New York – Independent.ie

His remarks came after a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this evening.

Mr Varadkar said they talked in detail about the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop – which Mr Johnson wants to scrap.

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Mr Varadkar said: “There is still a very wide gap between the EU and the UK in terms of achieving what we need to achieve before October.”

Mr Varadkar described the 40-minute meeting as “good” and more detailed than their recent meeting in Dublin.

He said the first meeting was “an opportunity to build relationships”.

“This meeting was a meeting between our team and his and was a little bit more detailed.”

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Mr Varadkar said one issue that was not the subject of detailed discussion was the UK Supreme Court’s ruling that Mr Johnson had acted unlawfully in suspending Parliament.

He said: “I’d be very much of the view that a decision made by the UK Supreme Court is an internal matter for the UK government and not something that we’re going to get involved in.”

He said it was “a good meeting”, but “there is still a very wide gap between Britain and the EU and Ireland”.

The pair agreed to meet again “in the near future”.

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Ahead of the meeting, Mr Varadkar said: “We’ve been saying, when we met before, that we’re very keen that there be a deal and that the UK should be able to leave the EU in an orderly fashion.

“That’s in Ireland’s interests and Britain’s interests too.

“But there are certain guarantees that we expect to be honoured – that there won’t be a hard border between North and South, that the all-island economy will be able to operate, and that north-south co-operation would continue as envisaged by the Good Friday Agreement.

“That’s a commitment given to us back in December 2017 and we hope it will be honoured.” 

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Online Editors

‘Still a very wide gap’ between UK and EU on Brexit deal, warns Leo Varadkar after meeting with Boris Johnson in New York – Independent.ie

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