UK, Ireland premiers ‘see a pathway’ to Brexit deal


British premier Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar Thursday “agreed that they could see a pathway to a possible deal,” a joint statement said.

“The prime minister and Taoiseach [Irish prime minister] have had a detailed and constructive discussion,” read the statement following their meeting in Birkenhead, northern England.

The emergency meeting came after Brexit talks stalled earlier this week.

“Both continue to believe that a deal is in everybody’s interest. They agreed that they could see a pathway to a possible deal,” said the statement.

They “concentrated on the challenges of customs and consent” and “discussed the potential to strengthen bilateral relations, including on Northern Ireland.”

The premiers remained in agreement “to reflect further on their discussions and that officials would continue to engage intensively on them.”

“Following their discussions the taoiseach will consult with the taskforce 50 and the Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will meet [chief EU Brexit negotiator] Michel Barnier tomorrow morning,” the statement added.

British and EU officials will meet in Brussels next week in a European Council meeting.

Johnson is required to demand an extension to the Brexit deadline, which is currently due on Oct. 31.

The British premier has insisted the U.K. would leave the EU on the deadline and repeatedly said he would not ask for an extension, despite a mandate by the parliament.
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