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Taoiseach insists fresh Brexit negotiations not an option

By Rebecca Black

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has ruled out the possibility of reopening Brexit negotiations with UK parliamentarians if the Withdrawal Bill is defeated next week.

The House of Commons is set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal on December 11. Some opponents of the deal have called for it to be renegotiated.

Mr Varadkar has said that is "not feasible".

Speaking during Taoiseach's Questions in the Dail yesterday, Mr Varadkar ruled out the possibility of talks reopening.

"The agreement we have took 18 months to negotiate, is 500 pages long, 28 governments agreed to it," he told the Dail.

"The suggestion that somehow if it is defeated, we would somehow find ourselves negotiating with a parliament really is quite unworkable.

"To see a parliamentary delegation entering the tunnel to reopen the talks is just not something that is feasible."

In response to a question over whether Irish legal advice on the deal should be published, as legal advice to the UK government was published yesterday, Mr Varadkar said it should be privileged.

He also said it will be impossible for Northern Ireland to have MEPs in the EU Parliament after Brexit. However, he suggested that there may be a case for having "observers" there, who could contribute to debates that specifically affect Northern Ireland.

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