Published: Tue, April 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

No-deal Brexit a very real possibility, warns Ireland's deputy premier

No-deal Brexit a very real possibility, warns Ireland's deputy premier

"The EU can not sustainably be the hostage for the solution to a political crisis in the UK".

The meeting between Mr Macron and Mr Varadkar was billed as an opportunity for them to exchange views on Brexit, and the French leader said: "We will never abandon Ireland and the Irish, whatever happens, because that solidarity is the very meaning of the European project".

"A long extension involving the participation of the United Kingdom in European elections and European institutions is far from evident and certainly not (to be taken) for granted". "I am repeating it here very strongly".

"We need to talk about what we will do in the event of "no deal", which will be particularly hard for Ireland", Mr Varadkar admitted.

Britain could crash out of the European Union in just 10 days time if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to secure parliamentary ratification of her divorce deal or an alternative plan supported by the bloc's 27 other member states.

"If the United Kingdom is not capable, nearly three years after the referendum, of coming forward with a solution that is supported by a majority, it will have effectively chosen a no-deal exit on its own", Macron said.

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Macron, a pro-European, wants to push forward with his own plans for European Union reform and is keen for Brexit not to overshadow all other concerns. Publicly, he has positioned France as the toughest-talking nation in the Brexit saga, stressing the need for the United Kingdom to present a way forward.

A spokesman for the Irish Government said the meetings were a demonstration of strong and unwavering European Union solidarity with Ireland over Brexit.

There was still time for May to present an alternative proposal to break the impasse, Varadkar said.

McAleese, now a professor of children, law and religion at the University of Glasgow, said that the debate on Irish unity has typically focused on crude numbers of Catholics and nationalists "over and against" Protestants and unionists.

She added: "Someday they will be asked to decide that, and those of us, and I am one of them, who believe that the truest and best potential of this entire island and all its people will only be realized when Northern Ireland and Ireland merge, and emerge as a modern, European democracy, inclusive of all, respectful of all", she said.

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