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Varadkar and Corbyn share 'serious concerns' about Brexit during Dublin meeting

Corbyn also had a “lengthy and comprehensive” meeting with President Michael D Higgins.

Taoiseach welcomes Jeremy Corbyn to Government buildings
Taoiseach welcomes Jeremy Corbyn to Government buildings

Updated May 30th 2019, 3:10 PM

THE BRITISH LABOUR party leader Jeremy Corbyn has met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government buildings this morning.

The pair had a “detailed” discussion about Northern Ireland, Brexit and the current political landscape in the UK for an hour and a half. 

In relation to Brexit, both sides are believed to have shared “serious concerns” about a No Deal scenario and the dangers that may come with it, “including the possibility that the UK may end up in a no deal situation by default unless alternatives are pursued”.

Varadkar and Corbyn’s discussion of Northern Ireland focused mainly on the need to restore power-sharing and the importance of avoiding any return of a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The two party leaders also pledged to stay in touch with regard to both Northern Ireland and Brexit. 

Speaking ahead of his Dublin visit, Corbyn said Labour would “work with anyone across party boundaries and do whatever is necessary to stop a disastrous No Deal outcome, which would open the way for a frenzy of deregulation and a race to the bottom in jobs, rights and protections”. 

He added that the only way out of the current political crisis facing the UK was to hold a general election or a second “public vote on any deal agreed by parliament”. 

“But faced with the threat of No Deal and a Prime Minister with no mandate, the only way out of the Brexit crisis ripping our country apart is now to go back to the people. Let the people decide the country’s future, either in a general election or through a public vote on any deal agreed by parliament.

“For Labour any outcome has to work for our whole country, not just one side of this deliberately inflamed divide.”

PRES HIGGINS MTS CORBYN MX-4 Source: Maxwell Photography

ICTU 166_90572204 The General Secretary of Congress Patricia King met the leader of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn at ICTU headquarters in Dublin yesterday. Source: Sam Boal

This morning, Corbyn also visited Áras an Uachtaráin where he had a “lengthy and comprehensive” meeting with President Michael D Higgins. 

The pair are believed to have discussed a range of current issues including Irish-UK relations, Brexit, the future of the European Union and Northern Ireland.

“The President and Mr Corbyn have known each other for several decades,” a spokesperson for the President said.

Last night in Dublin, Corbyn met with ICTU General Secretary Patricia King to discuss how Brexit will affect workers in Ireland, North, and South

King described the meeting as “very worthwhile” and welcomed the opportunity to share the Congress’ views on the consequences of Brexit for workers and labour standards.

“It is our view that the best way to achieve this is to negotiate as close as possible a relationship between the UK and the EU; preferably with the UK as a whole remaining in the Single Market and a Customs Union in the longer term,” Kind said. 

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin also met with Corbyn, saying afterwards that he was “assured that a no-deal Brexit is off the table”.

Following my meeting with Jeremy Corbyn, I am confident that parliament will block a no-deal Brexit. Britain needs a general election to break the deadlock. I am assured following our meeting that no matter who wins the Tory leadership election, Parliament will not back a no deal Brexit.

About the author:

Adam Daly

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