Irish premier to hold bilateral German leader and French President

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

Irish premier Leo Varadkar is to hold bilateral Brexit talks with the French and German leaders next week, it has been confirmed.

The Taoiseach will travel to Paris on Tuesday for a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Dublin for a one-day visit on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Irish Government said both meetings will focus on the latest developments on Brexit.

He added that the discussions will address current EU issues and other matters including the Future of Europe agenda ahead of the summit in Romania and the appointment of a new European Commission, Council President and High Representative in June.

“These two meetings reflect the deep and warm relations Ireland enjoys with both France and Germany, including the support shown to Ireland during the Brexit negotiations,” the spokesman said.

Speaking ahead of next week’s meetings, Mr Varadkar said: “Both leaders have been strong and consistent allies of Ireland in responding to the unique challenges we face from Brexit.

“I will again express the Government’s gratitude for their continuing solidarity. We will take stock of the latest developments on Brexit when we meet, efforts to secure ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement and no-deal planning.

“We will also take the opportunity to consider the Future of Europe agenda.

“Important discussions lie ahead, with an informal summit on the Union’s strategic agenda due in early May in Sibiu, and negotiations on the EU budget for the period after 2020 due to be finalised by the end of this year.

“While I meet regularly with both the President and Chancellor at the European Council in Brussels, these bilateral meetings are an important opportunity for an in-depth and one-to-one exchange on how to further strengthen our relations away from the bustle of the European Council.

“Our bilateral relations with both Germany and France are better than ever and will become even more important as we move to a European Union of 27 members.”