Leo Varadkar tells Boris Johnson that Ireland and the UK might not remain allies and friends after Brexit

Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar Reuters
  • Boris Johnson warned that Ireland and the UK might not remain allies after Brexit.
  • The prime minister is in Dublin to meet with the Irish premier Leo Varadkar.
  • Varadkar said that Ireland wanted to remain the UK’s “friend and ally” but it may not be possible.
  • Johnson said that Ireland would be partly to blame if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

Ireland and the UK might not remain friends and allies after Brexit, the Irish premier has warned Boris Johnson.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Dublin, the Taoiseach told the UK prime minister that while “we do want to be your friend and your ally,” he said that “the manner in which you leave the EU will determine whether that’s possible.”

Varadkar’s stark warning came as Johnson continued to insist that he will take the UK out of the EU on October 31, despite members of parliament last week passing a law that could compel him to seek an extension.

The bill, which will receive Royal Assent on Monday, demands that the prime minister request a three month extension if he has failed to secure a deal with the EU, meaning that Britain may not leave the EU until January 31 2020 at the earliest.

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However, Johnson has insisted that he would rather “die in a ditch” than seek an extension, with aides briefing that he may break the law rather than delay Brexit.

Speaking in Dublin on Monday, Johnson admitted that a no-deal Brexit would be a “failure of statecraft” for which “we would all be responsible.”

However, he also insisted that he remains determined to secure a deal.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd resigned from Johnson’s government on Sunday insisting that she had seen little evidence that the prime minister was seeking an agreement with the EU.

Varadkar warned Johnson that the EU would not accept any deal that did not contain the Northern Ireland backstop – the insurance policy designed to prevent a hard border between the UK and Ireland.

“No backstop means no deal,” he told Johnson.