Theresa May agrees on “paramount importance of no hard border” in phone call with Leo Varadkar 10 months ago

Theresa May agrees on “paramount importance of no hard border” in phone call with Leo Varadkar

“We are working hard to find a specific solution to the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland.”

A spokesperson for Theresa May said that both the UK Prime Minister and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar agreed on “the paramount importance of no hard border or physical infrastructure at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland” in a phone conversation on Wednesday.

A statement issued from 10 Downing Street on Wednesday evening revealed that the need to avoid a hard border and physical infrastructure at the border “remained a joint priority for both Governments, and the EU, to resolve”.

Earlier in the day, May spoke on the phone with DUP leader Arlene Foster following events on Monday, when a deal based on the idea of “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was scuppered by the DUP, who wanted Northern Ireland to get the same Brexit deal as the rest of the United Kingdom.

Following the conversation between May and Varadkar on Wednesday, meanwhile, Downing Street released a readout of the conversation, which you can read below.

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“The Prime Minister spoke with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on the phone this afternoon.

“They both agreed about the paramount importance of no hard border or physical infrastructure at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister said how she recognised the significance of this issue to the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland and how this remained a joint priority for both Governments, and the EU, to resolve.

“The Prime Minister said we are working hard to find a specific solution to the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland that respects the integrity of the UK, the European Union and the Belfast Agreement.

“She added that we are committed to moving together to achieve a positive result on this as well as restoring devolved Government to Northern Ireland. Both leaders looked forward to continuing relations as close neighbours and allies as the negotiations progress.”