Deal discussed by Johnson and Varadkar
Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar have met to discuss the prime minister’s current Brexit proposals.
The meeting was intended to accommodate "detailed discussions" between the Johnson and Varadkar, according to Downing Street.
EU leaders criticised Johnson’s proposal, suggesting that the UK had used untested ideas and that progress had thus far been limited.
Varadkar voiced concerns that it would be “very difficult” for the UK and the EU to come to an agreement prior to the current deadline of October 31.
The two leaders met at Thornton Manor in the Wirral with Johnson continuing to propose the UK’s departure from the European Union at the end of the month.
The Benn Act, passed in September, demands that Johnson delays the Article 50 deadline once more if he fails to agree a deal before October 19.
Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary, disclosed Johnson’s intention to bypass the present legal obstacles to a no-deal Brexit, by expressing his desire to leave in one letter and delivering a second memo to European leaders to the contrary.
In spite of Johnson’s new proposals for a Brexit deal, Varadkar said that there are still "big gaps" between the UK and EU.
Phillip Hammond, the former Tory chancellor, has suggested the prime minister has offered a proposal that "is not going to fly, and was never going to fly".
He continued "much of it is stuff which has already been tried with the EU in the past and rejected in the past."
In a joint statement following their meeting, the leaders highlighted the issues they had discussed, focusing particularly “on the challenges of custom and consent.”
In positive news for Johnson’s government, the statement also said the two leaders had been able to “see a pathway to a possible deal.”
Leo Varadkar will now meet with the Taskforce 50 with Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, meeting Michel Barnier tomorrow morning.