Taoiseach and May discuss Brexit ‘overall state of play’ in Dublin

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British prime minister Theresa May discussed Brexit and Northern Ireland at a private dinner in Farmleigh House in Dublin last night at an occasion described by aides as “warm”, in contrast to some of their previous meetings.

Irish sources said that Mr Varadkar and Mrs May discussed the continuing absence of an administration in the North and also the “overall state of play” on Brexit, but were tight-lipped about any conclusions.

Irish officials stressed that the dinner in no way involved “negotiations” on Brexit or the backstop, stressing that negotiations take place in Brussels between the EU’s negotiating team led by Michel Barnier and the UK government team.

The dinner was also attended by senior officials from Downing St, including the prime minister’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell and chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins.

The Taoiseach’s chief of staff Brian Murphy, top Brexit official John Callinan and the secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach Martin Fraser, also attended, Government Buildings said.


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