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Dublin: 1 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020

Emmanuel Macron: 'We will never abandon Ireland or the Irish people, no matter what'

Varadkar is in Paris for a meeting with Macron to discuss the latest Brexit developments.

Macron Source: Macron/Twitter

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron has said that France and Ireland are the EU countries most-directly impacted by Brexit, and reaffirmed France’s support to Ireland in negotiations.

“Please allow me to say again that we will never abandon Ireland or the Irish people no matter what happens because this is the solidarity is the very purpose of the European project,” Macron said in a joint press statement with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Paris (he also tweeted it out later). 

Macron also addressed the possibility of granting the UK another delay to the Brexit date, saying that it shouldn’t be “taken for granted”.


Varadkar is in Paris meeting with Macron to discuss Brexit and a number of other issues; the European Council are due to meet on 10 April to discuss the next steps, two days before the UK is due to leave the EU.

So far, the UK parliament has rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal three times, and rejected a dozen other possible options. At the moment, the UK will leave the EU on 12 April with no deal, something that the Taoiseach described today as “particularly difficult for Ireland”. 

Varadkar also repeated that if there was an extension, that would mean the UK would take part in the European elections, and there should be a “clear purpose and a clear plan” for why it should be permitted. He added that the EU wanted to avoid “a rolling extension”.

“It’s very much the case that the UK is consumed by Brexit, but Ireland and France and the EU shouldn’t be consumed by Brexit,” he said, echoing comments made by Macron, where he said that the EU should not “be hostage to a political crisis in the United Kingdom”.

“I don’t think that relations between Ireland and France have ever been as good as they are now,” Varadkar said, thanked France for its solidarity with Ireland. 

Varadkar is in Paris for a meeting with Macron; on Thursday he will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the latest Brexit developments. 

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