Irish PM says Brexit talks make progress and going in the right direction

FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar waves as he meets Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin, Ireland, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday that Brexit talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union had made progress and were moving in the right direction.

“In terms of Brexit negotiations, I’ve a confession to make: Tuesday is a pretty crazy day and I spent the morning in cabinet and the afternoon in the Chamber so I’ve to go back to the office now and get a briefing from Brussels,” Varadkar told reporters.

“The initial indications are that we are making progress, that negotiations are moving in the right direction,” Varadkar said. “But whether we will be able to conclude a revised withdrawal agreement, which after all is an international treaty, in time for the summit on Thursday, that’s as of now unclear.”

Varadkar said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a meeting last week that he was confident he could get a Brexit deal through the British parliament.

Asked if he would still say the gap between the United Kingdom and the EU was a significant one, Varadkar said:

“Yes but these discussions are happening in Brussels at the moment, I’m going to get a further briefing this evening so the situation may have changed even in the last few hours but the gap was still quite wide, particularly on the issue of customs.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Guy Faulconbridge