Let's Be Open to Credible Brexit Proposals From Britain: Varadkar

"The EU can not sustainably be the hostage for the solution to a political crisis in the UK".

Macron said the EU's priority was protecting its workings and the single market: "We have a future to build together in the European Union and a future relationship to build with the United Kingdom, which will be an ally, but we can't spend the next months still trying to fix the rules of our divorce and looking to the past".

"We will never abandon Ireland or the Irish people no matter what happens, because this solidarity is the very goal of the European project", said Mr Macron.

Mr Varadkar said he would also discuss the Republic of Ireland's no-deal plans with Mr Macron.

European Union sources told Reuters in February that Dublin would soon have to come up with a plan to ensure the integrity of the single market or face checks on its own goods coming into the rest of the bloc, if they are also allowed to move freely to and from a country that is no longer a member.

Speaking to RTE News in Cork, Mr Coveney said: "In the absence of a British Government co-operating in the way that they have committed to, to actually prevent checks on the island of Ireland, well then we need to try to come up with another plan".

The meeting comes after MPs rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's for a third time last week and the government steps up it preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

The Irish premier met with Macron ahead of talks with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dublin.

Mr Macron told reporters that France and Ireland would be the countries most impacted by a no-deal outcome.

"Long before any future referendum goes live, we need to do what Brexit has abjectly failed to do".

Mr Calleary said the series of deadlocked votes in the Westminster parliament, and comments by European Union chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, strongly signalled that no-deal scenario was increasingly likely.

But he again reiterated his opposition to creating a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, for fear that it could jeopardise peace in the British province.

"We can not avoid failure for them - a long extension involving the UK's participation in the European elections and in the EU's institutions is far from evident".

He said his government was now in negotiations with the European Commission as to how to achieve both of these objectives.

"At the last European Council meeting, we gave the United Kingdom some time and opportunity to come up with a way forward".

  • Anthony Vega