Latest: We have to hold our nerve on Brexit, says Tánaiste as Leo Varadkar attends EU Summit

Update - 2.24pm: Ireland needs to hold its nerve on Brexit according to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has travelled to Brussels for two days of EU Council meetings with the UK's exit a big talking point.

Little progress has been made on the withdrawal agreement with the UK.

The Tánaiste has blamed the delay on a lack of certainty from the British government.

Mr Coveney: "Most people understand why we haven't made the kind of progress that we would have liked to have made in June, because we are listening to the ongoing debate in Westminster.

"The British government is essentially negotiating with itself, and until that process comes to a conclusion, it is difficult to actually make significant progress on some of these key and difficult political issues."

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte insists the issue of the Irish border post Brexit needs to be resolved.

Mr Rutte says it is crucial to address the backstop proposals on the border.

He said: "First issue on the table now we have to solve is the problem of the Irish border, that is crucial.

"It has to be a backstop which is not temporary but is continuous, in case we are not able to solve this problem int he future. That issue has to be solved, I do believe that."

1.03pm: Leo Varadkar arrives in Brussels for 'two big days' of EU Council meetings

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has arrived in Brussels for the EU Council meeting.

He will join other heads of State to discuss the migrant crisis, the US, Russia and Brexit.

There has been little to no progress made on Brexit since March and British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to get a scolding from other EU leaders as they gather in Brussels over the next two days.

They are unhappy with the lack of meaningful movement on a backstop deal to avoid a hard border, with the government calling for a re-intensification of the talks in the coming months.

There has been more controversy after Conservative MP Jacob Rees Mogg said the UK can win a game of chicken over the Irish border, with Fine Gael's Spokesman on EU Affairs Neale Richmond calling him a clown for the remarks.

Other issues to be discussed at the two-day summit include migration, the trade war with the US and Russia.

- Digital Desk


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