Leo Varadkar rules out reopening Brexit talks if deal rejected by MPs

Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that Brexit negotiations could not be reopened
Rebecca Black, Press Association

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has ruled out the possibility of reopening Brexit negotiations with UK parliamentarians if the withdrawal bill is defeated next week.

The House of Commons is set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal on December 11.

Some opponents of the deal have called for it to be renegotiated.

Mr Varadkar has said that is "not feasible".

Speaking during Taoiseach's Questions in the Dáil today, the Fine Gael leader ruled out the possibility of talks reopening.

"The agreement we have took 18 months to negotiate, is 500 pages long, 28 governments agreed to it," he said.

"The suggestion that somehow if it is defeated we would somehow find ourselves negotiating with a parliament really is quite unworkable.

"To see a parliamentary delegation entering the tunnel to reopen the talks is just not something that is feasible."

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In response to a question over whether Irish legal advice on the deal should be published, as legal advice to the UK government was published on today, Mr Varadkar said it should be privileged.

The six-page document by UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox was released to MPs a day after the House of Commons found the Government in contempt of Parliament for trying to keep it secret.

Mr Varadkar told the Dáil he had not read the document at that stage, but indicated he would not publish the advice his government had received on the Brexit deal.

"It is my strong view when it comes to legal advice from the AG (Attorney General), that legal advice should be privileged to those who receive it," he said.

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