Very difficult to secure Brexit deal by next week – Irish PM

FILE PHOTO: Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar reacts during a news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in Stockholm, Sweden October 3, 2019. TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery/via REUTERS

DUBLIN (Reuters) – It will be very difficult to secure a Brexit agreement by next week with big gaps remaining in the British position, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday following a phone call with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson.

“I’ll certainly work until the very last moment to secure that (a deal) but not at any cost… I think it will be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly,” Varadkar told Irish national broadcaster RTE.

“Essentially what the United Kingdom has done is repudiated the deal that we negotiated in good faith with Prime Minister May’s government over two years and has sort of put half of that now back on the table and are saying that’s a concession and of course it isn’t really. There are two big gaps.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin

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