Belfast Telegraph

Ireland must send message that it wants to stay at heart of Europe – Varadkar

The Taoiseach said Brexit was going to be back ‘centre stage’ in the coming days.

Leo Varadkar said Brexit was going to be back ‘centre stage’ in the coming days (Brian Lawless/PA)
Leo Varadkar said Brexit was going to be back ‘centre stage’ in the coming days (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland needs to send out a message that it is pro-European and rejects Brexit, the Taoiseach has said.

Leo Varadkar said voters needed to use their vote in the European elections to demonstrate that they want to stay at the heart of Europe.

The Republic heads to the polls on Friday.

It comes as speculation mounts that British Prime Minister Theresa May is on the verge of quitting.

Demands from Conservative Party MPs for her to resign are continuing to surge following Cabinet turmoil over her Brexit strategy.

It's really important that here in Ireland we send out a message that we're pro-European and we want to stay at the heart of Europe Leo Varadkar

The Taoiseach would not be drawn on the potential impact Mrs May’s resignation would have on getting the Withdrawal Agreement over the line, if she made the decision to step down.

But he said Brexit was going to be back “centre stage” in the coming days because of potential political changes in Westminster and the results of the European elections in the UK, “where it seems the Brexit Party is going to win”.

“It’s really important that here in Ireland we send out a message that we’re pro-European and we want to stay at the heart of Europe,” he said.

“We’re rejecting Brexit and Nigel Farage, that we’re going to put in the European Parliament seven Fine Gael MEPs, those who will be part of Team Ireland, those who will build alliances and coalitions, those who will make friends for us in Brussels and Strasbourg and those who’ll defend the interests of Irish people, citizens, farmers and businesses.”

The Tories are widely expected to be hammered by Mr Farage’s Brexit Party in the UK European elections.

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