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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020
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Taoiseach tells Boris Johnson there is still a 'very wide gap' between UK and EU on Brexit deal

Leo Varadkar met Boris Johnson in New York today.

A photo shared by Varadkar of the meeting this evening.
A photo shared by Varadkar of the meeting this evening.
Image: Twitter/@LeoVaradkar

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson today in New York. 

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Taoiseach described the meeting as “good” stating that they were able to get into “more detail” on the withdrawal agreement and the Irish backstop than in their previous meeting in Dublin. 

However, Varadkar added that there is still a “very wide gap” that needs to be closed in terms to what the UK is proposing and what the EU wants to achieve. 

The Taoiseach said they were keen that a deal be reached, stating that it is in Ireland’s and Britain’s interests that an orderly Brexit be achieved. 

Johnson said he is “cautiously optimistic” that a Brexit deal can be reached, but added that there is a “short time” to achieve it. 

Varadkar added that there are “certain guarantees” that the UK agreed to in 2017 that must be honoured. 

The meeting comes after this morning’s UK Supreme Court ruling which found that the prorogation order to suspend parliament was “unlawful, void and had no effect” and should be quashed – meaning that in law parliament has not been prorogued. 

The judges ruled that Johnson’s advice to Queen Elizabeth II to suspend parliament for five weeks until 14 October was illegal. 

MPs are now due to return tomorrow. 

When asked if the Supreme Court ruling was discussed during the meeting, Varadkar said:

“No, not in any detail.”

He added that any decision made by the Supreme Court in the UK “is not something we are going to get involved in”.

The Taoiseach said they agreed to hold another meeting “in the near future”. 

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