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No Brexit deal without agreement over Irish border - Simon Coveney

Guy Verhofstadt

Speaking in Dublin alongside European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, Varadkar said a Brexit deal which doesn't include guarantees for keeping the Irish border open "is of no use to us whatsoever".

Irish economy still growing substantially but Brexit is "a major threat", says Ireland's Central Bank High levels of household and public debt also cause for concern Ireland's economy is still showing strong growth but Brexit poses major risks, according to the country's Central Bank.

The European Commission is now demanding the United Kingdom sign up to a Brexit "backstop" where Northern Ireland will stay inside the EU's Single Market and Customs Union, and be separated from the United Kingdom by a sea border until a way of keeping the Irish border open is found.

But he added: "The reality is that there is no arrangement outside the European Union that is as good as membership".

The pair held a short meeting along with their delegations, including Clara Martinez-Alberola, head of Mr Juncker's cabinet, Gerard Kiely, head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, legal adviser Michael Shotter and financial adviser Paulina Dejmek-Hack.

This morning he is due to address a joint sitting of both houses of the Irish parliament, the Oireachtas.

Jean Claude Juncker and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

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Lord Adonis, who supports the Best for Britain anti-Brexit campaign, said: "Every day that the Prime Minister spends arguing with her own Cabinet and manoeuvring to rewrite the British constitution is a wasted day when it comes to our negotiations with our European Union partners".

Brussels and London have made progress on several technical sections of Brexit negotiations but "serious divergences" remain over the issue of Northern Ireland after a final round of talks ahead of this month's European summit, the EU said Tuesday.

He will also watch a demonstration of Gaelic football and hurling.

Advances have been made in a number of areas, such as customs, Value-Added Tax and nuclear waste regulation, European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said, but "a lot more work" needs to be done to meet the October deadline.

The withdrawal agreement must contain a fully operational backstop solution for Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Now we're seeing the consequences of kicking every tough decision into the long grass.

In June, the Prime Minister secured the passage of her flagship EU Withdrawal Bill largely unscathed despite threatened backbench revolts.

"That means businesses up and down the country will be left in the lurch right up until the last minute, while those in Ireland wait to find out whether this government wants to safeguard their fragile peace settlement".

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