Ireland’s Sunday Independent quoted an unnamed minister as saying that Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister of Ireland, has informed his colleagues at the Cabinet that a delay of the exit date of the United Kingdom from the European Union from the 29th of March to June is “very likely.”
The minister was quoted as disclosing: “The Taoiseach (prime minister) has privately said to us that it is very likely there will be an extension until June.”
A spokesperson for the Irish government refused to comment regarding the veracity of the report. However, he said that the focus of the Cabinet was “solely on securing a deal.” He also pointed to a comment that was made by Varadkar last Friday in which he said that a British exit on the 29th of March without either a deal or an extension was unlikely.
Before a meeting with Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, at the EU-Arab League joint summit that was held in Egypt, Leo Varadkar spoke to some reporters. He said that a no-deal Brexit as a “lose-lose-lose scenario for everyone.”
He said that he believed that the United Kingdom would either agree on a deal with the European Union or that Article 50 would be extended rather than a no-deal outcome.
Varadkar stated: “A long extension creates a complication in relation to the European elections, but that’s a small complication relative to the impact on our economy.”
He added: “A lot of colleagues feel if there is an extension it should be an extension with a plan, rather than an extension just to continue negotiations which have gone on for almost two years.”
He continued: “I feel that the chances are that that won’t happen and that we will either have a deal that is ratified or that we will have an extension.”
Last Monday, Simon Coveney, the Irish Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), said that the Republic of Ireland would not veto any kind of request from the United Kingdom to delay Brexit.
However, he added that it would be a request that the Euroepan Union “collectively has to consider.”