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Let's be open to credible Brexit proposals from Britain: Varadkar

EU cannot be ‘held hostage’ to Brexit crisis Macron       	         		Posted

Macron said the EU's priority was protecting its workings and the single market: "We have a future to build together in the European Union and a future relationship to build with the United Kingdom, which will be an ally, but we can't spend the next months still trying to fix the rules of our divorce and looking to the past".

"We'll need to talk about what we will do in the event of a no deal, which will be particularly hard for Ireland, and from our point of view, we'll want to pursue our twin objectives, to protect the Good Friday Agreement on which peace in Northern Ireland is based, and protect the integrity of the single market and customs union, (on) which Ireland's economic model has been based for decades".

In a speech alongside Emmanuel Macron, the President of France in Paris, the Irish PM said that there was still enough time for PM May to present some "credible" solutions. Macron said the European Union had total "unity and solidarity" with Ireland.

In his comments prior to the meeting, Mr Macron said France would never let Ireland down and said he was aware of the difficulties a no-deal Brexit would mean for Ireland.

Mr Varadkar said he would also discuss the Republic of Ireland's no-deal plans with Mr Macron.

"We are preparing for all outcomes, and have prepared intensively for a no deal".

"A long extension involving the participation of the United Kingdom in European elections and European institutions is far from evident and certainly not (to be taken) for granted".

But as well as Irish commitments to the EU, Varadkar said Ireland had to honor the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended sectarian conflict on the island of Ireland.

Speaking after the indicative votes, Mr Dodds said the only proposition that MPs had ever supported was an amendment - known as the Brady amendment - calling on the government to negotiate changes to the backstop.

On Monday night, independent unionist MP for North Down, Lady Hermon, backed two of the options.

Our priority must be the good functioning of the European Union and the single market.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Dublin on Thursday, as pressure mounts over Parliament's failure to ratify the withdrawal agreement. "We need to be open to any proposals that she may bring forward to us", adding that as things stood Britain was heading towards a no-deal exit.

The Irish leader also said that the European Union needed to determine how it would respond to any requests from the United Kingdom for a longer Brexit extension, saying that the bloc wanted to avoid a "rolling extension".