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Leo Varadkar to discuss business and Brexit during Northern Ireland visit

Varadkar will also take part in a debate this evening with politicians from both sides of the border.
Aug 6th 2019, 9:32 AM 8,501 47

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR will meet with business leaders in Belfast today during a visit to Northern Ireland as concerns grow over the threat of a no-deal Brexit. 

Varadkar will take a tour of Hillsborough Castle, followed by a meeting with business leaders from both sides of the border. 

After attending an Ireland Funds Young Leadership cross-community event, Varadkar will take part in a leaders debate this evening as part of the Féile an Phobail festival with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, DUP MP Gregory Campbell and Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith, alongside representatives of Northern Ireland’s main parties. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Northern Ireland last week for talks with the region’s main parties during a tour of the UK.

Northern Ireland is expected to be hardest hit by Brexit, while the issue of the border and the backstop has been a major sticking point in negotiations between the EU and the UK. 

Varadkar has become a frequent visitor to Northern Ireland during his time as taoiseach. Last weekend, he attended Belfast’s annual gay pride march for the first time.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is in London today to meet with UK Chancellor Sajid Javid to discuss Brexit. 

It will be their first meeting since Javid was appointed to the role. 

“The UK is our nearest neighbour, key trading partner and friend, and I look forward to seeing this important relationship grow and diversify in the years ahead,” Donohoe said in a statement. 

However, he warned that Brexit “poses a serious challenge for all of us”. 

“A no-deal Brexit is in no-one’s interests.  Along with our partners in the EU27, we remain firmly of the view that the best way to ensure an orderly withdrawal and fully protect the Good Friday Agreement is to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement,” he said.

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Dominic McGrath

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