Leo Varadkar to raise Brexit in meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar will use a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence to outline the impact of Brexit on Ireland.
He says he hopes that Mr Pence will bring back the message to President Donald Trump's administration which has been supportive of Brexit.
Mr Pence is flying into Ireland with his family this evening.
Mr Varadkar described Mr Pence as "a real friend of Ireland" saying he's got to know him "reasonably well" in the last couple of years.
He said he hopes to speak to Mr Pence about Brexit adding: "as you know the US Administration is quite well disposed towards Brexit and you’ve heard what President Trump has said about that.
"I am going to use the opportunity tomorrow to just to spell out to him and explain to him [Mr Pence] a little bit better what the consequences might be for Ireland in the hope that message will go back to the administration."
Mr Varadkar said details of the visit are still being finalised but it is hoped that there will be a "family lunch" with the vice-President involving the Taoiseach's own parents and his partner, cardiologist Matt Barrett.
He added: "that does involve getting time off work... but that’s being worked on."
Mr Pence hosted the Taoiseach and Mr Barrett at his Washington DC home during St Patrick's Day festivities in March.
The Taoiseach delivered a carefully crafted speech advocating for LGBT rights in the presence of Mr Pence who has been criticised in the past for his views on the issue.