Leo Varadkar holds ‘constructive phonecalls’ with May, Macron, and Merkel

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has discussed Brexit with a number of European leaders on his first day in office.

Mr Varadkar had what he described as “constructive phonecalls” with French President Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and British prime minister Theresa May.

He extended the Government’s sympathies to Ms May on the tragic fire in London’s Grenfell Tower.

Both Mr Varadkar and Ms May reiterated the shared objectives of avoiding a hard border, maintaining the common travel area, and supporting the Good Friday Agreement.

They also discussed the ongoing political discussions in London and in Belfast, agreeing on the need to have the Northern Ireland executive up and running as quickly as possible, and they discussed Brexit.

Mr Varadkar is due to meet the leaders of Sinn Féin and the DUP in Dublin today with talks around Northern Ireland’s power-sharing agreement likely to be top of the agenda.

He is expected to talk about Brexit and the implications it will have on both side of the border with DUP leader Arlene Foster and senior members of the party at today’s meeting.

Mr Varadkar agreed that he would meet with Ms May in the very near future to continue their discussions.

Mr Macron and Mr Varadkar discussed Brexit. They looked forward to seeing each other at the European Council in Brussels, where negotiations around Britain’s exit of the EU begin in earnest next week, and they agreed to explore options for an early bilateral meeting.

Ms Merkel discussed the Northern Ireland talks and spoke about the renewed closeness of relations between Germany and France being a positive force for the future of the EU.

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