Let's be open to credible Brexit proposals from Britain: Ireland's Varadkar

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar with French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar with French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris

"The Taoiseach and President Macron will take stock of the latest developments in Westminster, and discuss the scenarios which may arise, including the possibility of a request for an extension, or ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, in advance of the extraordinary meeting of the European Council on 10 April", the spokesman said.

Simon Coveney said Ireland had intensified its no-deal contingency planning with the EU Commission but checks at EU ports on Irish products were not a runner.

Speaking during a visit by Irish PM Leo Varadkar, French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday warned that the European Union could not be held "hostage" to the Brexit crisis and urged Britain to come up with credible alternative proposals to its exit deal.

He said the European Union would need to seriously consider how to respond to any request from the United Kingdom for a longer extension, in order to avoid leaving with no deal on 12 April.

"The EU can not be held hostage to the resolution of a political crisis in the United Kingdom on a long-term basis", Macron said, adding that granting Britain a lengthy extension of the deadline for leaving the bloc was "not a certainty".

Mr Varadkar said he would also discuss the Republic of Ireland's no-deal plans with Mr Macron.

"We are preparing for all outcomes, and have prepared intensively for a No Deal".

Mr Varadkar said that it would come with conditions, requiring the United Kingdom to take part in European elections on 23 May. "You've hoped for a long. long time but it seems by accident we're going for a hard Brexit", he said.

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The Tánaiste also warned that Ireland will not tolerate a situation where mainland European Union states impose controls on Irish exports.

He said that his government was now in talks with the European Commission regarding the ways on how to achieve both of these objectives.

Ms McDonald said any hardening of the border on the island of Ireland was unacceptable in any form.

On Monday night, independent unionist MP for North Down, Lady Hermon, backed two of the options.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Dublin on Thursday, as pressure mounts over Parliament's failure to ratify the withdrawal agreement.

He stated: "As things stand, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 12 April without a deal".

An extraordinary European Union summit is due to take place on 10 April.

In the event of a "no deal" Brexit, the Irish border would become the only land frontier between non-EU Britain and the rest of the bloc and would therefore in theory need to have customs controls.

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