Irish PM says he has escalated no-deal Brexit preparations

Ireland planning as seriously for no deal as for May’s agreement, says Leo Varadkar

The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has said his country is preparing for a no-deal Brexit as seriously as it is for Theresa May’s deal and warned that the EU’s existing offer must not change.

In remarks that echoed EU comments earlier on Thursday rebuffing British hopes of further talks, Varadkar said European leaders were united behind the existing deal and that he and Angela Merkel had held a 40-minute call at her request.

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