Brexit: Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar trying to ‘keep door open’ for UK to stay in EU

The Irish Prime Minister says he is working to “keep the door open” for Britain to halt Brexit, amid growing rows over the future border with the North.

Asked if he thought there was any possibility of Britain changing its mind about EU withdrawal, Leo Varadkar said: “Well, I still hope that it won’t happen.”

He added: “When it comes to my work in Brussels, working with other European prime ministers and presidents, it’s part of my remit to keep the door open, not just to the European Union, but also to the single market and also to the customs union, should they decide to go down that route.

“That, I think, would be the best outcome for Ireland and Northern Ireland and Britain,” Mr Varadkar told The Irish Times.

The comments came as relations between the Dublin Government and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – Theresa May’s partners at Westminster – sour over the issue of a post-Brexit border.

The DUP was told to stop ‘whinging” after protesting when Mr Varadkar said the Irish Government does not want any sort of economic border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

The Irish Prime Minister said he would not work with London, which has put forward better technology as a potential solution to policing trade between North and South after 2019.

Nigel Dodds, the DUP deputy leader, hit out at the comments and said Dublin was positioning for a general election.

“It’s simply taking things backwards at a time when common sense co-operation between our two countries and between the Republic and Northern Ireland is what’s needed,” he said.

But Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond said: “The DUP’s whinging doesn’t hide their political impotence.

“They would be far better off seeking to influence their Government partners in Westminster and working to get the Executive back up and running to give Northern Ireland a strong voice.”

Mr Richmond added: “Being a good friend requires one to be honest. In the Brexit debate,…

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