I was worried EU might turn on Ireland during Brexit, says Varadkar

The Irish premier has said he had concerns he would be pressured into a deal by European Union partners.

“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 that might arise,” Leo Varadkar said on Friday in Brussels.

“That I would get a phone call, or find myself late at night being put under pressure from other European leaders, and other European countries, to compromise.

“But as things went on, the more we realised that it was not going to happen, that this was a concern that we did not need to have.

“Because there has been enormous solidarity for Ireland, from our European partners, from the institutions and also from the member states.

“You know that is really borne out of a belief that being a member is advantageous, and certainly it was never an anti-British thing, but obviously, if one country was leaving and another was staying, there would be solidarity among the other 27.”

Throughout the three-year Brexit process, Mr Varadkar has continually thanked the EU member states for their solidarity, despite rumours and reports that certain countries were growing impatient as the UK failed to get an exit deal ratified in their own parliament.

“The European family, when it sticks together, is very powerful.

“I think we have demonstrated that when it comes to Brexit, the way the 27 member states stuck together and defended its others’ interests.

“I hope and I expect, and I intend to work on this, that we can extend this into other things.”

He added that this would be a common negotiating EU position going forward into the next phases of Brexit, and seeking EU-UK tariff-free trade in any future relationship.

“The 27 Musketeers – all for one and one for all,” the Taoiseach concluded.

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