UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
In a private meeting with party leaders last night, Mr Varadkar and his department secretary general John Callinan said unless the Irish question is resolved, the EU could hypothetically move control of any border away from Ireland and onto the continent.
Such a scenario would remove the need for a hard border between the Republic and the North.
However, it would also mean Ireland and the UK would be treated as one bloc, several sources at the meeting told the Irish Examiner, which must be “avoided at all costs”.
Speaking at the weekly Cabinet briefing, Mr Varadkar’s spokesperson said “the Government is not in denial” over the scale of the crisis.
However, he repeatedly declined to explain how to avoid a no-deal Brexit without using the withdrawal agreement or the backstop, stressed “there are no preparations for a hard border”, and said it remains up to Britain to find a solution.