Varadkar stands firm as May cancels Brexit vote

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The meeting with the Taoiseach was scheduled after the Prime Minister conceded her deal would suffer a heavy defeat if the vote had gone ahead on Tuesday.

The decision yesterday by the British Prime Minister Theresa May, to abandon the vote in the House of Commons on the agreed Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union, has left Ireland in a very precarious situation with the United Kingdom more likely now to leave the European Union on the March 29 next - with no deal in place for its withdrawal.

Johnson made the comments in a column for the Daily Telegraph in which he called on the Prime Minister to "finally show some steel and determination" when it came to negotiations.

Speaking in Brussels, Mrs May said: "The backstop is a necessary guarantee for the people of Northern Ireland - and whatever outcome you want, whatever relationship you want with Europe in the future, there's no deal available that doesn't have the backstop within it".

"The deal we have achieved is the best deal possible - it is the only deal possible", he said.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, participates in a press conference.

Loiseau said the French parliament voted on Monday to authorise the government to adopt ordinances to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

She will fly out on Wednesday evening to Dublin for talks with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, before travelling on to Brussels for a summit of European Union leaders starting on Thursday.

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The Taoiseach is to hold talks with the British Prime Minister in Dublin this evening.

Following his talks with Mrs May, Mr Tusk described their meeting as "long and frank", adding: 'Clear that EU27 wants to help. "The question is how".

Mr Juncker told MEPs the agreement was the "best deal possible" and the "only deal possible".

"This will not happen: everyone has to note that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened".

The backstop is the insurance policy arrangement aimed at avoiding the return of a hard border - physical checkpoints or infrastructure - along the 310-mile (500-km) border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

"A new leader wouldn't have time to re-negotiate a withdrawal agreement and get the legislation through Parliament by March 29, so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding Article 50, delaying or even stopping Brexit when people want us to get on with it".

That is what she will debate with Mr Varadkar in Dublin at around teatime today. It comes after she conceded that in its current form her deal had no chance of passing the Commons.

There were conflicting reports last night about the level of support among Conservative MPs for a no-confidence motion.

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