Ireland 'open to Brexit extension', says Varadkar

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25.09.2019 21:12

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Leo Varadkar has said Ireland is open to the idea of the UK asking for a Brexit extension.

The taoiseach (Irish prime minster) made the remarks while speaking in New York on Wednesday, as the House of Commons returned from its suspension.

He said that any comment from Ireland on developments at Westminster would only backfire, RTE reported.

Although expressing openness, he added: "I think we're a good bit away from a request for an extension from the UK".

Mr Varadkar met Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday but said he intends to meet him again before the upcoming European Union summit.

"There are a lot of other European countries that are sceptical about whether there should be an extension or not and would want it to happen for a good reason," he said.

'Twists and turns'

"We've seen many twists and turns when it comes to British internal politics over the last couple of years.

"The best thing for us I think is to stay out of it and allow internal politics in Britain to operate on its own without any interference or commentary from us."

The taoiseach added his meeting with Boris Johnson on Tuesday was "good" and they talked about detail around the Withdrawal Agreement and a joint political declaration.

Both Mr Varadkar and European Council President Donald Tusk want to see written proposals from the UK by early October.

The taoiseach said if European leaders are to be in a position to finalise the UK's withdrawal from the EU at their summit in mid October, then things will need to be teed up in advance.

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