Leo Varadkar warns there is a 'serious' chance UK will crash out of the EU without a Brexit deal
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Leo Varadkar warns there is a 'serious' chance UK will crash out of the EU without a Brexit deal

THE Taoiseach has suggested that the UK could crash out of the EU without a Brexit withdrawal agreement if talks do not progress by June.

The final deadline for an agreement between Britain and the EU is October, but progress on the deal will be reviewed at the European Council summit next month.

As the Brexit negotiations continue, Leo Varadkar is meeting Theresa May today at the EU's Western Balkans summit in Sofia.

Speaking in the Bulgarian capital ahead of the meeting, the Irish PM said: "By June, we need to see substantial progress - as the Tánaiste and myself have seen on many occasions.

"The deadline, of course, for the withdrawal agreement is October - but if we're not making real, substantial progress by June, then we need to seriously question whether we're going to have a withdrawal agreement at all."

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Border woes continue

Britain has just a few weeks before June's European Council summit to agree on a solution which would avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Failure to avoid a hard border would likely see the EU refuse to sign a withdrawal agreement and leave Britain out of the bloc next March without even so much as a transition period.

Mr Varadkar said he has "yet to see anything remotely approaching" a solution to the Irish border issue.

He added: “If the UK wants to put forward alternatives to that, whether alternative text to the backstop or an alternative future relationship between the UK and the EU, we’re willing to examine that.

“But we need to see it written down in black and white and know that it is workable and legally operable.

"And we’ve yet to see anything that remotely approaches that.”

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