Press release

PM call with Taoiseach Varadkar: 16 Oct 2017

Theresa May spoke with Taoiseach Varadkar about Storm Ophelia and the political situation in Northern Ireland.

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A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister spoke to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this afternoon.

On Storm Ophelia, the Prime Minister expressed her sympathies for the loss of life and said the UK Government stood ready to provide any support if requested.

They discussed the political situation in Northern Ireland and their shared concern over the lack of devolved Government in Northern Ireland for over 9 months.

Both leaders noted that while progress has been made over the past few weeks significant gaps still remained, including on Irish language, and it was up to the two main parties to overcome differences and reach agreement.

The Prime Minister said she was absolutely clear that it was in the interests of everyone in Northern Ireland to see a fully functioning Executive up and running so that local decisions could be made by local politicians.

On the UK’s departure from the EU, they discussed the importance of maintaining constructive progress in the negotiations. Both agreed to continue discussions at EU Council later this week and the Prime Minister reiterated the UK Government’s commitment to protecting the Belfast Agreement and the Common Travel Area.

Published 16 October 2017