DUBLIN – The government of the Republic of Ireland and the president of the European Council agreed on Tuesday that the next step in the Brexit process involved waiting to see what proposals came from London ahead of an upcoming European Council meeting.
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met Donald Tusk in Dublin for discussions on the latest developments on Brexit, the term to describe the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
“President Tusk expressed the strong and ongoing solidarity with Ireland of the European Council and European leaders,” a statement released by the Irish government said.
The UK was legally on course to withdraw from the bloc on March 29, but with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal on her country’s exit from the EU having failed to win sufficient backing by lawmakers and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit voted down last week, it looked unlikely the country would leave on schedule.
The Irish government said preparations continued in Ireland and across the EU for a no-deal scenario, warning that such a situation “would have serious consequences for all concerned.”
“They agreed that we must now see what proposals emerge from London in advance of the European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday,” the statement said.
Varadkar received Tusk at around 11.30 GMT, but neither of them wished to respond to journalists’ questions about the possibility of May seeking an extension to the Brexit deadline.
Tusk said on Twitter the pair had discussed the “uncertain political situation in London as well as preparedness for a no-deal Brexit.”
On Monday, John Bercow, the UK’s speaker of the House of Commons, the lower chamber of lawmaking, ruled out members of Parliament having a third vote on May’s deal unless there were substantial changes, agreed with the EU, were made to it.
May reached her deal with the EU in November last year.
With Westminster’s support, the prime minister could ask for a brief three-month delay to the UK’s leaving date at the upcoming summit, which would need the unanimous backing of the 27 other EU members, which includes Ireland.
While Dublin was in favor of the UK securing an extension to Brexit, it wanted May to offer up concrete measures so as not to drag out the process, in line with the EU’s stance on the matter.