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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C

Varadkar tells US TV he's 'confused and puzzled' by Britain's trading plans

The Taoiseach also shared his thoughts on Donald Trump.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said he’s “confused and puzzled” by the UK’s post-Brexit trading plans.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Varadkar said it’s not “realistic” for Britain to expect the advantages of being in the European Union (EU), but none of the responsibilities and costs.

“What trade agreement does the UK want with the EU? At the moment, they have the best trade deal imaginable. What are these better deals the UK really wants from Europe and other countries? Some more clarity would be helpful,” the Taoiseach said.

Last week, Guy Verhofstadt, one of the EU’s Brexit negotiators, described aspects of the UK’s trading plan as “fantasy”.

During the interview, Varadkar again stressed he doesn’t want a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

He’s currently in Canada and is today expected to visit a section of the US-Canadian border, which has been cited as a possible model for any future Irish border.

“I’m a little bit sceptical, but I’d like to see it with my own eyes,” Varadkar said.

More progress needed 

Elaborating on the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU, he stated: “We’re not satisfied with the progress that has been made so far. We hope more progress can be made, but to date progress has not been sufficient.”

When asked about US President Donald Trump, Varadkar said he hopes to meet him in Washington DC next March for the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

He said the importance of the two countries’ relationship is bigger than any one person.

“It’s fair to say that the policy and character of my government would be, or the government which I lead, would be very different to that of President Trump,” Varadkar stated.

Read: EU negotiator calls UK’s Brexit plan ‘a fantasy’

Read: Varadkar marches in Montreal Pride Parade alongside Justin Trudeau

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