Taoiseach: 'Very difficult' to secure Brexit agreement before EU summit next week

Taoiseach: 'Very difficult' to secure Brexit agreement before  EU summit next week

The Taoiseach has said it will now be "very difficult" to secure a Brexit agreement before a crucial EU summit next week.

Leo Varadkar spoke with British prime minister Boris Johnson for around 45 minutes today but held out little hope of securing a Brexit deal after the conversation.

"I think it's going to be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly," he said.

"Essentially what the United Kingdom has done is repudiated the deal that we negotiated in good faith with prime minister May's government over two years and have sort of put half of that back on the table, and are saying that's a concession.

"And of course it isn't it isn't really," Mr Varadkar said.

European leaders had hoped to have a deal on the table when they meet in Brussels next week, which would pave the way for an orderly Brexit on October 30. However, Mr Varadkar signalled that there are still significant differences between both sides.

Speaking of his phone call with Mr Johnson, the Taoiseach said: "We both restated our commitment and desire to try to secure a deal so the UK can leave the European Union in an orderly fashion.

"If there's no deal, the countries worst affected will be Ireland to Britain, it won't affect the countries on continental Europe quite as badly. So we very much want there to be a deal and I will certainly work until the very last moment to secure that, but not at any cost.

"There are some fundamental objectives that haven't changed for the past three years and we need them, we need them guaranteed," Mr Varadkar told RTÉ news.

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