Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar | Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images
Leo Varadkar: ‘Possibility’ of another EU summit on Brexit this month
Despite progress, there are ‘issues that need to be resolved,’ said the Irish prime minister.
Updated 10/16/19, 1:27 PM CET
LONDON — Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar hinted that another summit of EU leaders may be needed later this month in order to reach a Brexit deal.
Varadkar, who spoke with his British counterpart Boris Johnson early this morning, said there are “many issues that still need to be resolved,” particularly around the consent mechanism for Northern Ireland and concerns around customs and VAT.
“I spoke with the PM this morning by phone and the European Commission and I do think we are making progress but there are issues that need to be resolved and hopefully that can be done today, allowing us to ratify it at the European Council tomorrow, and allowing the House of Commons to vote on Saturday, but if it’s not there is still more time.”
EU leaders are set to meet at a European Council summit on October 17 and 18, but Varadkar said a further meeting may be needed later this month in order to get all the terms of the U.K.’s exit sorted in time for the October 31 Brexit date.
“The 31st of October is still a few weeks away and there is a possibility of another summit before that if we need one,” he said.
Varadkar insisted that Ireland’s objectives in the Brexit talks have remained unchanged through the last three years despite “a lot of twists and turns” in the negotiations.