Latest: Taoiseach rules out side-deal with UK before Brexit

Latest: Taoiseach rules out side-deal with UK before Brexit

Update: Friday Dec 16, 1am: Enda Kenny has ruled out looking for a side deal with the UK before the Brexit talks begin.

The Taoiseach says Ireland has to act hand-in-hand with the other 26 countries who will be staying within the Union.

The UK's House of Lords has suggested a bilateral deal with Ireland would be the best way to guarantee the future of Northern Ireland and the border.

But leaving a summit of EU leaders in Brussels last night, Enda Kenny ruled out the idea.

"Well I think that the European Council are very clear that there won't be any negociations until Article 50 is triggered," he said.

"Her request today was that it would be early in the discussions and obviously at official level and at the [EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel] Barnier level, I'm sure that's a matter that will come into focus when shoe moves Article 50."

Earlier:

EU leaders have broken up for the night, concluding discussions about migration, Aleppo and Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that Britain will trigger formal processes to withdraw from the EU by the end of March.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told reporters that any discussions about Brexit would be pure speculation until the UK trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin negotiations.

"Until it becomes clear as to what sort of relationship the United Kingdom actually wants to have with the future European Union, it's then that you can make the decisions and negotiate on those decisions, after Article 50 is triggered," he said.

"Between this and then, it's all speculation."

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