Europe

Brexit: Leo Varadkar says Brexit is a 'major threat' to Ireland

Leo Varadkar Image copyright Oireachtas TV
Image caption Mr Varadkar said his government's objective was to avoid a no-deal Brexit

The Irish prime minister has described Brexit as a major threat to Ireland, its economy and citizens' rights.

Leo Varadkar said it was something that could have major implications for peace and security on the island.

Speaking in the Dáil (parliament), the taoiseach said preparations for a no-deal hard Brexit were a work-in-progress.

He said it was his government's overriding objective to avoid this scenario.

Micheál Martin, leader of the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, asked why the government intended to give details of its plans for a hard Brexit, believed to include up to 45 pieces of legislation, to a stakeholders' forum on Thursday rather than to the Dáil, which adjourns on Wednesday for the Christmas break.

Mr Varadkar replied that it was appropriate to allow the European Commission to publish its report first before the Irish cabinet met on Wednesday evening to discuss the proposals.

He said that more detailed information about preparations for a hard Brexit would be published in mid-January.

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