September 3, 2019 / 9:53 PM / 13 days ago

EU still needs significant reason for Brexit extension, Ireland says

FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Ministry of Finance in Dublin, Ireland, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Britain must present “a very significant political rationale” if it wants to extend talks to leave the European Union, Ireland’s finance minister said on Tuesday, after a successful start to a bid by British lawmakers to prevent a no deal Brexit on Oct. 31.

“The European Council and the European Commission have said that were another extension to be looked for, there would have to be a very significant political rationale for it and it is yet to be seen what that rationale would be,” Paschal Donohoe told national broadcaster RTE.

Asked if Ireland can still deal with Boris Johnson as prime minister after his grip in parliament was dented following the no deal defeat, Donohoe said: “He is the prime minister of the United Kingdom and we will deal with who the prime minister of the United Kingdom is.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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