EU members to veto Brexit extension 'extremely unlikely': Irish PM

Here’s Monday’s Evening Round-up Barnier in Dublin Love triangle trial and Van Graan's staying

Here’s Monday’s Evening Round-up Barnier in Dublin Love triangle trial and Van Graan's staying

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday said that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the EU will refuse to open trade talks with Britain until an agreement is in place regarding the Irish border, citizens' rights and a financial settlement.

Mr Barnier added that the border backstop arrangement remained the "only solution" to "maintain the status quo on the island of Ireland".

Mr Varadkar has made it clear that he is open to granting a second extension to the United Kingdom, as long as Prime Minister Theresa May has a clear plan which is focused on a future relationship rather than trying to re-open the Withdrawal Agreement.

"One thing is certain, whatever happens, the European Union will stand fully behind Ireland, you have our full support", Barnier said.

For Brexit to have a chance, both parts need to agree before the EU Summit that would take place next Wednesday, April 10, in which EU leaders will discuss whether to grant the United Kingdom another extension.

He said he sincerely hoped it would be possible to find consensus in Westminster, but that if a no-deal outcome occurred, it would be a "shared challenge" between Ireland and the EU.

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The British government is now in talks with the opposition Labour Party on a possible compromise that could include a customs union.

The statement is likely to be close analysed in London where Prime Minister Theresa May has employed the help of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to try avoid a no-deal scenario.

Barnier, a regular visitor to Dublin during two tortuous years of Brexit negotiations, also discussed the consequences for Ireland and in particular its 500-km (350-mile), seamless land border with British-governed Northern Ireland in the event of Britain departing the European Union without a transition deal.

She is due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron 9th April.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar added that if the United Kingdom crashes out this Friday, the consequences would be a "shared challenge" for Ireland and the EU.

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