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"I had a very good meeting today with the prime minister and our teams together. It was very positive and very promising. I am now absolutely convinced that both Ireland and Britain want there to be an agreement that's in the interests of Ireland and UK and the EU as a whole," he said.
The meeting lasted significantly longer than expected, with the two prime ministers agreeing that there had been enough movement to form a basis for substantive negotiations.
Varadkar said he believed the outline of a deal would be possible in time for the crunch summit of EU leaders next Thursday although "there was many a slip between cup and lip" and challenges remained ahead.
"What I would hope that what happened today will be sufficient to allow negotiations to resume in Brussels," he added.
There are a couple of dangling issues...
"There are of course issues yet to be fully resolved, the first is the issue of consent and democracy ensuring that any long term arrangement that applies to Northern Ireland has the consent of the people of Northern Ireland, the second is the whole issue of customs ensuring that there is no customs border between north and the south.
Don't blame me if it goes pear-shaped...
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
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