Ireland's Varadkar Ups Ante in Gentle Twitter Spat Over Brexit

(Bloomberg) -- As Brexit talks grow tense, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar appears to have upped the ante a little.

Replying to a tweet from a Brexit supporter citing loans to the U.K. given to Ireland during the financial crisis and describing the situation as a “bad Irish joke,” a tweet from Varadkar’s account responded the government had repaid its International Monetary Fund bailout and no longer had a budget deficit.

The U.K. lent Ireland close to 4 billion euros ($4.6 billion) as part of a rescue package, with the cash due to be repaid by 2021.

“Happy to do same for U.K. and help them out financially in the future if they need it for some reason...,” according to a tweet from the Irish prime minister’s account to his 176,000 followers.

Varadkar is known for his embrace of social media. Still, the latest intervention might not come at the ideal moment for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, as she struggles to win backing at home for a deal on the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc. The question of how to avoid a hard border in Ireland has become the thorniest issue in talks over the U.K.’s departure from the bloc.

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