Mon, 21 Oct 2019

Irish and UK leaders now see pathway to possible Brexit deal

Conor Trindle
11 Oct 2019, 09:03 GMT+10

LONDON, UK / DUBLIN, Ireland - Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar say a deal on Brexit is now possible amidst talks which the pair say are "promising."

The UK prime minister and Irish taoiseach concluded two hours of talks in northern England at a country manor on Thursday with a joint declaration that a deal on Brexit is now possible.

The British pound soared nearly 4% on the news, jumping from around 1.2220 on Thursday to a high on Friday of 1.2707,

"The taoiseach and prime minister have had a detailed and constructive discussion," a joint statement issued by the pair on Thursday night said.

"Both continue to believe a deal is in everybody's interest. They agreed that they could see a pathway to a possible deal."

"Their discussions concentrated on the challenges of customs and consent," the statement said.

"They also discussed the potential to strengthen bilateral relations, including on Northern Ireland."

"They agreed to reflect further on their discussions and that officials would continue to engage intensively on them," the Johnson/Varadkar statement said.

In the aftermath of the discussions between the two leaders, the taoiseach undertook to consult with the EU Task Force while it was agreed the UK Brexit Secretary would meet Michel Barnier on Friday morning.

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith told BBC NI's The View he was "delighted to see the positivity that came out of the meeting" between Johnson and Varadkar.

"We do need to compromise, we do need to focus on coming together and having an accommodation," he told the broadcaster.

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