'Plan B is no deal', Varadkar warns MPs voting on Brexit deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned MPs the only "plan B" to the Brexit agreement is a crash out no deal, insisting it would be a "mistake" if anyone votes against the plan due to an assumption another offer will be made.

'Plan B is no deal', Varadkar warns MPs voting on Brexit deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned MPs the only "plan B" to the Brexit agreement is a crash out no deal, insisting it would be a "mistake" if anyone votes against the plan due to an assumption another offer will be made.

Mr Varadkar outlined the reality as he said a new Brexit delay to push the deal over the line could still happen and sought to reassure unionists by saying regardless of what happens the "pound is still the pound, the queen is still the queen".

Speaking during a detailed press conference at the end of the EU leaders summit in Brussels on Friday, Mr Varadkar said after three and a half years of talks the EU wants to make it clear there is no other Brexit deal offer.

Noting the crunch vote in the House of Commons on Saturday which will make or break the agreement struck this week, the Taoiseach told reporters the reality is there is no "plan B".

"Plan B is no deal. We're all preparing for that, and we've all been preparing for that since the referendum, but let's hope that doesn't happen.

"Bear in mind this [the deal] has to be ratified by both the House of Commons and European Parliament, we can be pretty confident it will be ratified in the European Parliament. The House of Commons? We'll see over the next couple of days.

"If the House of Commons does vote yes that will put us in a position to stand down our no deal preparations, but we won't stop them entirely as there is always an outside chance something could go wrong," he said.

Asked if the deal is "the final offer", Mr Varadkar said "it is, I cannot see the European Union coming back again for another set of negotiations, I really can't", before adding it would be a "mistake" for MPs to call the EU's bluff on the issue.

During the same press conference, Mr Varadkar said another Brexit delay may be considered if it is sought by Britain should the deal be rejected by the House of Commons, saying "our [Ireland's] point of view has always been that we would be open to it".

However, he stressed any request "would have to be agreed unanimously by all 27 EU leaders".

Mr Varadkar admitted there were periods during the Brexit negotiations he was concerned Ireland could be "betrayed" by the EU but soon realised this would never happen, saying:

"Well, I’ll be very frank with you. In dealing with this issue over two years, there were times when it always crossed my mind, that I would get a phone call or find myself late at night being put under pressure to compromise.

"But as things went on, the more we realised that it was not going to happen." He added the EU is like "the 27 Muskateers, one for all and all for one."

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.