Irish PM 'surprised and disappointed' after no deal on Brexit border talks

Irish PM 'surprised and disappointed' after no deal on Brexit border talks
REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he was "suprised and disappointed" in the UK government on Monday after Brexit talks on the Irish border fell short of a deal. Varadkar's statement came after Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker held talks in Brussels. 

"The Irish negotiating team received confirmation from the British government and the [Michel] Barnier task force that the United Kingdom had agreed a text on the border that met our concerns," said Varadkar, adding that it would have given Ireland's stamp of approval to move on to Phase II. 

"I am surprised and disappointed that the British govenrment now appears not to be in a position to conclude what was agreed today," said Varadkar.

"I acknowledge that she is negotiating in good faith. But my position, and that of the Irish government, is unequivocal ... We cannot agree to [move on to Phase II] unless we have firm guarantees that there will not be a hard border in Ireland under any circumstances," he said. 

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