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Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson discuss backstop in hour-long phone conversation

Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar have had an hour-long phone conversation
Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar have had an hour-long phone conversation

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have discussed Brexit and the backstop in an hour-long phone conversation on Monday evening.

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It comes a month after their first phone conversation on July 30, almost a week after Mr Johnson became prime minister.

Their phone call following the announcement that free movement for EU citizens travelling to the UK will end immediately in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister made clear that the common travel area, which long predates the UK and Ireland joining the EU, would not be affected by the ending of freedom of movement after Brexit."

A statement from the Irish government said the two leaders shared perspectives on the Withdrawal Agreement, which the prime minister indicated 'would not [in its current form] get through the House of Commons, that the backstop would need to be removed'.

In response, the Taoiseach reiterated the EU27 position that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened.

The statement added that the two leaders reiterated their desire to see the Northern Ireland political institutions reinstated urgently and agreed to work closely to this end.

They condemned this morning's bombing in Fermanagh and urged anyone with relevant information to contact the PSNI.

They agreed to meet in Dublin in early September, although a date is yet to be specified.

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