EU Could Give Theresa May a Brexit Break, Irish PM Says

(Bloomberg) -- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the European Union may be “entering into a space” where it can show some flexibility in Brexit talks, offering Theresa May support as she seeks to move negotiations forward amid political turmoil in London.

Speaking in parliament in Dublin on Tuesday, Varadkar said U.K. proposals to stay close to the bloc on trade and regulations were “valuable” and could input into Brexit talks, though by themselves could only ever represent part of the solution.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will be encouraged by at least some member states not to blow the U.K.’s latest blueprint for its partnership with the bloc “out of the water,” according to a European official familiar with the negotiations last week.

May’s proposals should be used a jumping off point for further discussion, the official said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

An EU leaders summit in Salzburg, Austria, in September may be “upgraded” to consider progress on Brexit, Varadkar said. While the government still wants a backstop to ensure no border re-emerges on the island of Ireland after Brexit, Varadkar also said he’s not “hung up” on the precise version of the legal text.

What’s important is the outcome, he said.

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