Varadkar hasn’t given up hope of Brexit deal this summer

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Varadkar hasn’t given up hope of Brexit deal this summer


Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

THE Taoiseach hasn’t given up hope that British politicians can reach a Brexit deal before the Westminster summer recess.

Leo Varadkar rejected suggestions that it’s inconceivable that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party could come to an agreement with Labour on how to overcome the Brexit impasse.

He said the two parties are seeking a way to allow the UK leave the EU in an orderly fashion.

“I understand that if those talks aren’t successful then a series of options will be put back to parliament.”

He added: “Parliament will be keen and political parties will be keen to have this resolved before their summer recess.

“There’s absolutely no guarantee that’s going to happen but I haven’t given up hope of that at this stage anyway.”

Speaking after an informal European Council meeting in Sibiu, Romania, Mr Varadkar defended the government’s decision not to join eight other EU member states in setting tougher targets for cutting carbon emissions.

He said that EU leaders broadly agreed that climate action has to be one of the core priorities for the EU in the future.

“It’s an absolute imperative that we leave our planet to the next generation in a condition that we inherited it and climate change is a threat to life on this planet.”

However, he said that Ireland has a difficulty in signing up to more onerous targets to cut carbon emissions.

He said that although Irish C02 emissions are falling it’s going to be very difficult to meet existing targets.

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Mr Varadkar insisted Ireland would deliver on these but said: “We couldn’t in good faith sign up to more onerous targets until we actually know that we can achieve them.”

EU leaders discussed the future of Europe and also key roles that are to be filled in the coming months including new presidents for the European Commission and European Central Bank.

There is division on how to select Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker’s successor.

Mr Varadkar said he agrees with the Spitzenkandidat process where a candidate selected by the largest party in the European Parliament would get the role and insisted it hadn’t been abandoned.

He said he’s “100pc behind Manfred Weber who is the candidate of the EPP group”.

Fine Gael MEPs are part of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament.

Online Editors

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