Varadkar: DUP do not want no-deal Brexit

Leo Varadkar speaking at the Irish Fellowship Club Annual SPD Dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Chicago. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he believes the DUP do not want Britain to crash out of the EU, writes Juno McEnroe in Washington.

Speaking as talks progress try and reach a compromise over the Brexit impasse, Mr Varadkar also confirmed he would meet European Council president Donald Tusk in Dublin on Tuesday.

It is likely the two will discuss how and if Britain should get an extension on the March 29 Brexit deadline.

Mr Varadkar confirmed he had met DUP leader Arlene Foster in Washington DC this week.

DUP figures and British ministers this weekend are attempting to hammer out a deal or compromise so British prime minister Theresa May can get her Brexit deal through Westminster.

Speaking in Chicago last night, he told reporters: "I had a chance actually to meet with Arlene foster yesterday in Washington DC so I got to hear her perspective and she heard mine.

I certainly have the sense that the DUP would like the UK to leave the European Union with a deal, that they don't want no deal either so at the moment they're in discussions with the British government about how they might approach the next vote but they're discussions that I'm not party to.

Mr Varadkar said there were two options for an extension.

The first would be to get the a deal on the Withdrawal Agreement and then have a short extension while the second would be a longer period to sort out Brexit, he explained.

He reiterated he did not want to see "rolling" deadlines for Brexit and any request for an extension had to be for a "purpose".

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