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03:59

Ireland: Boris Johnson meets Varadkar in Dublin

Ireland, Dublin
September 09, 2019 at 12:34 GMT +00:00 · Published

Boris Johnson held his first meeting with Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday since he became the UK Prime Minister. The two government leaders discussed Brexit with Ireland's border remaining a key issue.

"The story of Brexit won't end if the United Kingdom ends the European Union on the 31st October or even the 31st January. There's no such thing as a clean break or just getting it done. Rather we will just move on to a new phase," said Varadkar.

Boris Johnson said: "Can we ensure that we continue to have unchecked movement at the border of goods and people, and indeed cattle, and I think the answer is yes." He also added that the UK 'will never ever constitute checks at the border, and I hope our friends in the EU would say the same.'

03:59
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Boris Johnson held his first meeting with Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday since he became the UK Prime Minister. The two government leaders discussed Brexit with Ireland's border remaining a key issue.

"The story of Brexit won't end if the United Kingdom ends the European Union on the 31st October or even the 31st January. There's no such thing as a clean break or just getting it done. Rather we will just move on to a new phase," said Varadkar.

Boris Johnson said: "Can we ensure that we continue to have unchecked movement at the border of goods and people, and indeed cattle, and I think the answer is yes." He also added that the UK 'will never ever constitute checks at the border, and I hope our friends in the EU would say the same.'

*JUMPCUTS AT SOURCE*

W/S Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside the Department of the Taoiseach in Dublin

M/S Varadkar and Johnson shake hands and enter building

W/S Varadkar and Johnson come out and approach lecterns

SOT, Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland: "We meet this morning at a point where it is the stated intention of the British government to leave the European Union on the 31st October with or without a deal. However, in my view, the story of Brexit won't end if the United Kingdom ends the European Union on the 31st October or even the 31st January. There's no such thing as a clean break or just getting it done. Rather we will just move on to a new phase. If there is no deal, it will cause severe disruption for British and Irish people alike, not so much on the continent. And whatever happens, we'll have to get back to the negotiating table quite quickly, and when we do, the first items on the agenda will be citizen's rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border."

SOT, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK: "As you rightly say Taoiseach, before November there are two political tasks that we simply have to do. And we must restore the government in Stormont in northern Ireland and I promise to work with you on our shared objective there. And of course we must get Brexit done because the UK must come out on October 31st, by October 31st or else I fear that permanent damage will be done in the UK to trust in our democratic system."

SOT, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK: "And I know that Brexit was not to be perfectly frank, a conundrum that Ireland wished for. And I think that there are certainly questions that we need to resolve. And there are three basic questions that we have to answer for the sake of our collective peace of mind. Can we ensure that we continue to have unchecked movement at the border of goods and people, and indeed cattle, and I think the answer is yes. And as somebody who went to the border several times before the Good Friday agreement and shuddered to see watchtowers on UK soil, I can say now, as I've said many times before, the UK will never ever constitute checks at the border, and I hope our friends in the EU would say the same."

SOT, Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland: "In the absense of agreed alternative arrangements, no backstop is no deal for us. All it does is kick the can down the road for another fourteen months. ANother fourteen months of uncertainty for business. Another fourteen months of uncertainty for people north and south of the border. So that's not an option that we find attractive at all."

W/S Street sign

W/S Policemen and vehicles

W/S Government Buildings, Dublin

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