Irish premier Leo Varadkar will travel to Brussels today to meet with EU leaders to intensify plans for a no-deal Brexit.
The Taoiseach will meet with senior EU representatives including the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
The leaders will discuss the detailed contingency planning under way for a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Varadkar will also meet with the chair of the European Parliament steering group on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, commissioner Phil Hogan and the EU chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Speaking before he left Ireland, the Taoiseach said: “I look forward to meeting presidents Tusk and Juncker, as well as Guy Verhofstadt, Michel Barnier and commissioner Hogan in Brussels.
“I will thank them for their unwavering solidarity with Ireland, and their ongoing support for the backstop as an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement.
“The Withdrawal Agreement is the best way to ensure an orderly withdrawal by the UK. We want the future relationship between the EU and the UK to be as close, comprehensive and ambitious as possible, so that the backstop will never be needed.
“However, given the ongoing uncertainty in London, we are intensifying our planning for all scenarios, including a no-deal exit.
“My visit is an opportunity to exchange views on the detailed contingency planning under way at both domestic and EU level, and to explore what supports might be needed.”
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