Varadkar to discuss no-deal Brexit preparations with European leaders

Irish premier Leo Varadkar will travel to Brussels next week to discuss no-deal Brexit preparations with the leaders of the European Commission and Council.

Leo Varadkar, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk will meet on Wednesday for a number of Brexit-related meetings.

The leaders are to discuss preparations for a no-deal Brexit in the event that the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified.

The contingency work for no deal “is intensifying both within the European Commission and across the member states”, according to the Irish government.

The Taoiseach is to outline the work under way in Ireland and the support that may be needed given the potential impact of a hard Brexit on the country.

It was revealed by the Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe this week that a no-deal Brexit could knock an estimated 4.25% off the country’s GDP.

Mr Varadkar‘s office has said that he will also use the opportunity to thank the institutions, and the other member states, for their “continuing support” for Ireland.

They are also expected to discuss the latest developments in London.

Mr Varadkar reiterated his government’s stance on no deal during a phone call with British counterpart Theresa May on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement following the call, the Irish government said: “The Taoiseach set out once again the unchanged Irish and EU position on the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop, noting that the latest developments had reinforced the need for a backstop which is legally robust and workable in practice.”