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making a date

Varadkar and Johnson to meet to discuss Brexit (but we're not sure when)

It comes after Varadkar and Johnson spoke over the phone about two weeks ago.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR is set to meet with new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss Brexit, with both leaders’ offices in contact to agree a date.  

The Sunday Telegraph reported this morning that Johnson had accepted an offer from Varadkar to meet to try to break the Brexit deadlock. 

It comes after Varadkar and Johnson spoke over the phone nearly two weeks ago. 

Johnson has insisted that the EU should agree to drop the Northern Ireland backstop provision of the Withdrawal Agreement. The backstop is designed to ensure that there would be no hard border on the island of Ireland.

The EU has stood firm, however, with leaders refusing to agree to drop the backstop. This tension is setting the UK on a course to crash out of the EU on 31 October with no deal.

A spokesperson for Varadkar confirmed this afternoon that he had invited Johnson to Dublin for talks on Northern Ireland and Brexit.

“Their offices are in contact to agree a date for these talks in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.

“Such a meeting would give both sides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of their respective positions,” the spokesperson said. 

“As has repeatedly been made clear, the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop are not up for negotiation. 

Any discussions on changes to the Political Declaration would occur between the UK and the EU. 

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