Varadkar: EU must be open to new UK Brexit proposals

Varadkar: EU must be open to new UK Brexit proposals

Varadkar: EU must be open to new UK Brexit proposals

He continued: "The three times rejection of the withdrawal agreement by the House of Commons and the rejection of all alternative plans now puts us on the path of a United Kingdom exit without a deal".

"We have to find a way of ensuring that we protect the single market's integrity and that we avoid physical infrastructure on the (Irish) border", Coveney told parliament ahead of meetings between Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and the leaders of France and Germany this week.

Mr Coveney added that in the case of a no-deal Ireland will have a dual obligation to manage the border issues and also protect the integrity of the European Union single market.

The EU would be "open" to such proposals, but it was for London to put them forward, he said.

"The EU can not be held hostage on a long-term basis to the resolution of a political crisis in the United Kingdom", he said.

Speaking in Brussels, Barnier said there is still hope to avoid a so-called no-deal Brexit.

"If the United Kingdom is not capable, nearly three years after the referendum, of coming forward with a solution that is supported by a majority, it will have effectively chosen a no-deal exit on its own", Macron said.

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Struggling to find majority support for her Brexit deal, May said on Tuesday she would ask the European Union for a further delay to Brexit beyond April 12 in a fresh attempt to end the deadlock.

Mr Macron, meanwhile, insisted the European Union will never abandon Ireland.

But the British government has refused to envisage carrying out customs checks on goods arriving in northern Ireland from Britain, arguing that to do so would drive a wedge through the United Kingdom.

"There is still time for the prime minister to come to the European Council with proposals, proposals that are credible and have a clear pathway to success", said Varadkar.

Macron met Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach, to discuss no-deal plans for the Irish border as well as how to handle any extension request from Theresa May.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, Varadkar said Ireland would have dual priorities: protecting the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ushered in 20 years of relative peace and stability in Northern Ireland, and protecting the EU's single market.

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