UK and Irish leaders Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar respectively have said there is “a pathway to a possible Brexit deal,” in a surprising change of tone after more than three hours of private talks.
Mr Varadkar was hosted by Mr Johnson at a country house in the north-west of England on Thursday. It was expected for talks to break down however the paid surprised EU officials and the general public by suggesting that there was a possible path for a Brexit containing a withdrawal agreement.
Mr Varadkar and Mr Johnson had issued a joint statement on the issue, saying that it was possible to reach an agreement by the end of the month. The Irish prime minister, or Taoiseach, was quoted by journalists after the joint statement was released as having said that he believed the outline of a deal would be possible in time for an EU summit next week, however serious challenges remain.
People’s surprise at the joint statement come off the back of statements made by Mr Varadkar where he said that finding an agreement would be “very difficult”, and even suggesting that his UK counterpart would have to move on from the issue of customs and how Northern Ireland consented to the Brexit plans.
The UK OPM declined to comment on journalists’ questions about whether he has shifted his position on the Irish backstop. Whatever concessions Mr Johnson makes will have to be considered with respect to Parliament as a deal may not be passed without enough support from MPs.