Taoiseach: Ireland will always remain at the heart of the common European home

Leo Varadkar says a new border with Northern Ireland is not an option.

The Taoiseach addressed the challenge of Brexit in his keynote speech at the Fine Gael National Conference last night.

The party is expected to outline its policy priorities for the next 10 years today at the event in Cavan today, four miles from the border.

He said our history with overcoming differences with the UK has prepared us for overcoming Brexit.

He said: "I know this won’t be easy, and that all these matters are not entirely under our control.

"But remember this: four times in our history we decided as a country to take a different road to the United Kingdom.

"We did it in 1921, when we became independent and we were the first country to leave the empire.

"We did it in 1948, when we became a Republic. We did it again in 1979 when we broke the link with sterling and floated our own currency.

"And then we did it again in 2001 when we joined the Euro without Britain.

"While there were challenges, on every occasion we overcame them and emerged stronger and more prosperous as a result, and we approach the challenge of Brexit with the same spirit.

"There may be tough calls and hard decisions ahead. But one thing is certain: Ireland will always remain at the heart of the common European home we helped to build."

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