August 19, 2019 / 6:16 PM / a month ago

UK PM Johnson and Ireland's Varadkar to meet in Dublin in early Sept -Irish govt statement

LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar spoke by phone for almost an hour on Monday and agreed to meet in Dublin in early September, the Irish government said in a statement.

During the call on Monday the two stuck to their existing positions, with Johnson saying the current Brexit deal on offer would not be approved by parliament and that the so-called Irish backstop needed to be removed and Varadkar reiterating the EU’s line that the deal cannot be reopened.

“They agreed that their teams would maintain close contact over the coming weeks, while recognising that negotiations take place between the UK and the EU27 Task Force. They also agreed to meet in Dublin in early September,” the statement said.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Padraic Halpin. Editing by Jane Merriman

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