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Ireland’s Varadkar: ‘Enormous hostility’ in EU to new Brexit delay

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Ireland’s Varadkar: ‘Enormous hostility’ in EU to new Brexit delay

Britain is due to leave the European Union on October 31, following two extensions already.

“There is very much a strong view across the European Union that there should not be any more extensions,” he said, speaking before an EU summit at which leaders are due to be briefed on the state of play.

“Some of my colleagues have lost patience, quite frankly, with the UK, and there’s enormous hostility to any further extension,” he added.

Possible exceptions could be to facilitate a general election or a second referendum, if Britain decided to have one, he added.

“What won’t be entertained is an extension for further negotiations or further indicative votes,” he added.

Varadkar also underscored that the withdrawal agreement that Britain negotiated with the EU will not be reopened. Nor will there be a transition period for Britain if it crashes out of the bloc without a deal, he said.

Some British conservatives – such as Boris Johnson, Tory frontrunner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May,have suggested such a transition would exist.

“If there is no withdrawal agreement, then there is no transition period,” said Varadkar.

Johnson, a prominent face of the Brexit campaign before the 2016 referendum, has reiterated his promise of a tougher line in negotiations with Brussels and insisted that the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal must remain open.

Ireland has backed May’s withdrawal agreement, which includes a “backstop” mechanism to cover issues arising from the Northern Irish border post-Brexit.

 

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