February 1, 2019 / 4:49 PM / 20 days ago

Irish PM Varadkar to meet Tusk, Juncker on Brexit

FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) and Defence Minister Leo Varadkar stands for the national anthem during his official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will meet European Council President Donald Tusk and the head of the bloc’s executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Brussels next week to discuss the latest Brexit developments, Varadkar’s office said on Friday.

British lawmakers on Tuesday instructed Prime Minister Theresa May to reopen her Brexit treaty with the EU to replace the backstop - an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland - but promptly received a rejection from both Dublin and Brussels.

“They are expected to discuss the latest developments in London. The Taoiseach (prime minister) will use the opportunity once again to thank the institutions, and the other Member States, for their continuing support for Ireland,” an Irish government statement said.

Varadkar will also use Wednesday’s meetings to discuss Ireland’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit, including the support that may be needed given the potential impact of a hard Brexit in Ireland.

Varadkar said earlier this week he had already alerted the European Commission that he will seek emergency aid for companies if Britain leaves without a deal next month, alongside other potential EU aid and domestic sources of emergency funding.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Stephen Addison

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