Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, speaks during a news conference inside the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. (Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

Irish PM Sees ‘Growing Desire’ in EU to Avoid No-Deal Brexit

(Bloomberg) -- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he noted a “growing desire” among European Union leaders to prevent the U.K. crashing out of the bloc without a deal, as the impasse over the border issue continues to dog negotiations.

Speaking to lawmakers in Dublin, Varadkar said EU leaders he’d met at Davos last month had expressed “complete solidarity” on avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit. At the same time, leaders are increasingly worried, he said.

“There is of course growing concern about what’s going to happen at the end of March and a growing desire to find solutions, because nobody wants to be in the situation whereby we as Europe fail to find solutions at the end of March and in the run-in to the period thereafter,” he told lawmakers in Dublin on Tuesday.

This week, in Tokyo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “We want to do everything to ensure that a no-deal doesn’t happen, because that would only heighten insecurity,” Merkel said.

“You have to be creative and listen to each other, such discussions can and must take place,” she said.

If the U.K. tumbles out of the bloc in March without a deal, then the question that has entangled Brexit talks -- how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland -- becomes an acute crisis. Varadkar said again the government is not preparing to install infrastructure on the border, and would do what it could to avoid a border re-emerging in all circumstances.

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