'Patently not the case' - Varadkar rejects report Theresa May 'loathes' him

'Patently not the case' - Varadkar rejects report Theresa May 'loathes' him

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has denied claims British Prime Minister Theresa May "loathes" him, insisting their relationship has not been damaged by the ongoing Brexit stand-off pitting Ireland and Britain against each other.

In response to the deepening stalemate between the countries over Brexit, unnamed British government sources claimed at the weekend Ms May "loathes" Mr Varadkar.

The allegation mirrors a growing anxiety among the Conservatives party hierarchy over the central role of Ireland and the Northern Ireland backstop in blocking any Brexit deal with the EU.

However, asked about the claims, Mr Varadkar said he does not believe they are accurate and claimed he does not understand why Ms May would feel this way.

"I'm not sure if the feeling's true, and I'm not quite sure where that particular idea comes from.

I do see the same anonymous source [who made the "loathes" claims to a Sunday newspaper] claimed the communications between London and Dublin had been outsourced to the deputy prime minister and the Tánaiste.

"That's patently not the case because as recently as last week we spoke on the phone. So I really don't know where that particular idea came from," Mr Varadkar said.

During the same media briefing, the Taoiseach repeated his view that while any decision on holding a second Brexit referendum is up to Britain, "if they change their mind that's their decision too".

We're not asking them to do that, we're not pressuring them to do that, but that fact is that the United Kingdom can take a no deal scenario at any stage off the table," he said.

Meanwhile, cabinet is expected to discuss the full details of its Brexit no deal plans this morning before they are published on Thursday at a Brexit stakeholders meeting.

The plans are expected to include details on how Ireland will stockpile medicines, up to 45 new emergency laws which will be needed if there is no deal, and "infrastructural works" for Dublin Port and Rosslare.

Asked if he is confident enough preparation is taking place, Mr Varadkar said: "Yeah I am, we had a meeting in Government Buildings only yesterday on some plans we were making for a no deal scenario, and also a deal scenario."

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