Taoiseach meeting Tusk in Dublin as Brexit Day looms closer

Taoiseach meeting Tusk in Dublin as Brexit Day looms closer
President of the European Council Donald Tusk meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings in Dublin today. Picture: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach is meeting the European Council President in Dublin today - with just 10 days to go until Brexit.

Donald Tusk and Leo Varadkar's meeting comes ahead of a crucial summit of EU leaders later this week.

The British Prime Minister is expected to formally request an extension beyond the March 29 deadline.

Theresa May's hopes of getting the deal through the UK Parliament were dealt a blow yesterday.

It's after House of Commons speaker John Bercow ruled it couldn't be voted on for a third time - unless it had significant changes.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, during his annual US St Patrick’s Day tour, Mr Varadkar said: “President Tusk will come to Dublin on Tuesday for meetings with me, in advance of the European Council summit later in the week, to consider any requests that come from the UK at that point for an extension.

Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

“On Wednesday at our Cabinet meeting we will be in a position to sign off on a package of supports for businesses, for farmers, for the agri-food sector and for anyone who may be adversely affected by a no-deal Brexit.

“Obviously we are hoping the deal will be ratified in the House of Commons before then, but if it’s not we are ready. We’ve already passed the legislation to provide for a no-deal Brexit, we have the Common Travel Area and this package of measures to support incomes and jobs.

“It’s not going to be a case of everything being all right, Brexit is bad news.”

Conservative MP and solicitor general Robert Buckland has been critical of John Bercow's intervention

"Now the Speaker has put himself in the mix as well with his important ruling," he said.

"The EU27 need to understand what will work in Westminster. At the moment, the current deal they have proposed doesn't seem to cut it.

"Can they help us? Yes, they can."

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