Varadkar warns it's up to UK to say how to avoid no-deal scenario
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has warned that it's up to the UK to say how it will avoid a no-deal Brexit which he said is a "growing possibility" after the latest Westminster rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.
And in apparent frustration with the developments in the House of Commons Mr Varadkar also said it's not clear that the UK "has fully understood that No Deal is not off the agenda".
He also suggested the EU should be open to a long extension to the Brexit departure date, currently slated for two weeks time.
Theresa May suffered another defeat for her Brexit deal today sparking fresh chaos.
Mr Varadkar said: "It is now up to the UK to indicate how it plans to proceed in order to avoid a No Deal scenario.
“The European Council has agreed unanimously that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be re-opened."
He said that Ireland has been "preparing intensively for a No Deal scenario" but added: "no one should under-estimate the difficulties that a No Deal will present, for all of us, including the UK."
Mr Varadkar said: "It is not clear that the UK has fully understood that No Deal is not off the agenda. Rather, it’s a growing possibility."
He welcomed the decision of European Council President Donald Tusk to call an emergency meeting of EU leaders on April 10, two days before the UK could crash out without a deal.
Mr Varadkar noted that he himself will meet French President Emmanual Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel next week and will speaker to other heads of government by phone.
He said: "It is now incumbent on the UK to chart a realistic way forward for consideration at that Council meeting."
Mr Varadkar also said: “I believe we must be open to a long extension should the United Kingdom decide to fundamentally reconsider its approach to Brexit and put back on the table options previously ruled out.
"I believe that will result in a generous and understanding response from the 27 [remaining member states]”.