Ireland’s Leo Varadkar reassured by talks with Theresa May over DUP deal

Varadkar, at a news conference with May in Downing Street, said both the British and Irish governments needed to be impartial actors in relation to Northern Ireland’s power-sharing arrangements, which are now stalled.

“I want to renew the close bond and strong relations that exist between Ireland and the United Kingdom”, he said.

Mr Varadkar later revealed it had been a “little thrill” to tour No.10 – as it reminded him of the scene in hit 2003 film Love Actually where Hugh Grant dances down the stairs.

While there may be a political border between the two countries, there should be no economic border, he said.

Mr Varadkar then spoke of the tragedies that have befallen Britain in recent weeks, including the London Bridge terror attack, the Grenfell Tower fire and Sunday night’s horror outside Finsbury Park Mosque.

“I think pretty much everybody in Ireland has somebody who lives here, a relative or a close friend, and when there is an attack on London we feel in Ireland that it’s nearly an attack on us as well”.

“I am looking forward to travelling to Downing Street today to meet the British Prime Minister, Theresa May“, he said.

“But it is my first visit overseas and I really want to thank the Prime Minister for facilitating it at very short notice”.

The two leaders are also due to discuss the ongoing talks to try and restore power sharing in the North.

May said after their meeting: “We agreed on the crucial need for the parties in Northern Ireland to form a fully functioning executive by the June 29 deadline, and how we would continue to engage closely on this important issue and reaffirmed that today”.

The PM also pledged to publish the full details of any deal with the DUP, expected by next week’s vote on the Queen’s Speech.

He raised his concerns with Mrs May over the deal she is trying to finalise to prop up her minority government.

“He must also tell the British Prime Minister that her government can not drag the North of Ireland out of the European Union against the democratically expressed wishes of the people”.