Varadkar: UK-EU relationship needs much thinking

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has warned that a lot of thinking remains over the shape of a post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU.

The Taoiseach said opinions on what future relations should look like are diverse and that not everyone agrees with Ireland’s desire for little change.

Mr Varadkar was speaking in Brussels as he joined the other 27 EU leaders for day two of the European Summit, where they are expected to formally agree to start the next phase of Brexit negotiations.

“We will be talking about the transition period and the relationship that will exist between the EU and the UK,” Mr Varadkar told reporters.

“I think a lot of thinking needs to be done about that. There does seem to be quite diverse opinions as to what that should look like.

“From the Irish point of view, we would like it to look as much like the current relationship as possible but that wouldn’t necessarily be the view of everyone,” he added.

The Taoiseach said he and UK Prime Minister Theresa May had a brief conversation at the margins of a meeting on Thursday night about trade talks and the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive.

“We agreed we would talk in New Year, both about another attempt to get the Northern Ireland Executive up and running and Phase 2 talks.

“I expressed my wish that we should proceed quickly to start talking about issues around trade in particular and she agreed with that,” he added.