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Belgium: 'My job here, it's hell' - Juncker berates battle over Brexit03:10

Belgium: 'My job here, it's hell' - Juncker berates battle over Brexit

Belgium, Brussels
February 6, 2019 at 18:18 GMT +00:00 · Published

The Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland Leo Varadkar said his country was "increasingly prepared" for a no-deal Brexit scenario, while speaking alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Wednesday.

Varadkar stated that the Republic of Ireland has taken the necessary measures to prepare for a backstop in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, he added that his country does not favour such an outcome.

Juncker on the other hand reiterated the EU's support for the Republic of Ireland, saying it will be not left alone.

"I have to make it very clear that the backstop is not a backstop for the [sake] of having a backstop but that the backstop is needed for obvious vital reasons. And we cannot abandon the idea that the backstop has to be put into place," said Juncker.

"That's why we cannot accept the idea, which has circulated around, that the Withdrawal Agreement could be reopened. And as the backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, we cannot reopen the discussion on the backstop," he added.

Commenting on European Council President Donald Tusk's statement earlier today that there is a "special place in hell" for those who back Brexit without a plan, Juncker quipped: "I am less Catholic than my good friend Donald. He strongly believes in heaven and, by opposite, in hell. I believe in heaven and I've never seen hell, apart from the time I was doing my job here. It's a hell."

Belgium: 'My job here, it's hell' - Juncker berates battle over Brexit03:10
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The Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland Leo Varadkar said his country was "increasingly prepared" for a no-deal Brexit scenario, while speaking alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Wednesday.

Varadkar stated that the Republic of Ireland has taken the necessary measures to prepare for a backstop in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, he added that his country does not favour such an outcome.

Juncker on the other hand reiterated the EU's support for the Republic of Ireland, saying it will be not left alone.

"I have to make it very clear that the backstop is not a backstop for the [sake] of having a backstop but that the backstop is needed for obvious vital reasons. And we cannot abandon the idea that the backstop has to be put into place," said Juncker.

"That's why we cannot accept the idea, which has circulated around, that the Withdrawal Agreement could be reopened. And as the backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, we cannot reopen the discussion on the backstop," he added.

Commenting on European Council President Donald Tusk's statement earlier today that there is a "special place in hell" for those who back Brexit without a plan, Juncker quipped: "I am less Catholic than my good friend Donald. He strongly believes in heaven and, by opposite, in hell. I believe in heaven and I've never seen hell, apart from the time I was doing my job here. It's a hell."

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