Macron, Irish PM urge United Kingdom to propose alternative Brexit plan

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar with French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris

The minister was referring to meetings that had begun at official level with the European Commission on how to manage the border in a no-deal Brexit, Reuters said.

"We have instead now this opportunity to develop a wholly fresh focus on the future, making it a place of transcendence, where multiple identities can be respected, be accommodated, can grow to become one community, gathered around the principles of the Good Friday Agreement and the European Union".

"We will never abandon Ireland or the Irish people no matter what happens, because this solidarity is the very goal of the European project", said Mr Macron.

Speaking to RTE News in Cork, Mr Coveney said: "In the absence of a British Government co-operating in the way that they have committed to, to actually prevent checks on the island of Ireland, well then we need to try to come up with another plan".

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

Theresa May's deal has already been rejected three times by Parliament, and she faces a desperate attempt to rally enough support for it to pass and revive hopes of Britain leaving the bloc with a Brexit agreement.

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

The EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said Tuesday that the EU was working with Ireland "on a unilateral basis in the event of no deal, to know where we can do these checks", but refused to elaborate further. From the roots of British euroscepticism to the Irish backstop and the long-term impact of Brexit, we talk you through the technicalities in 2-minute (ish) chunks. "And we always said also that it would involve hard conversations with the European Commission and they are happening now".

Mr Varadkar has consistently warned that the United Kingdom will have to accept Northern Ireland being treated differently to Britain on customs and regulations if it is to keep its promises that Brexit will not lead to a hard border.

She voted for another referendum and to revoke article 50, but against a customs union or single market arrangement.

"In the unlikely event that we have a no-deal and the United Kingdom were to do trade deals with the U.S. or China and we had chlorinated chicken or hormone beef, or products made by child labour in Asian countries, the last thing we would want is that coming south of the border into the Republic of Ireland".

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