Irish PM Leo Varadkar has confirmed talks have begun with the UK over avoiding a hard border with Northern Ireland in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
The Taoiseach revealed the UK government has suggested treating Northern Ireland differently to the UK for customs purposes to prevent checks being carried out on the island.
Avoiding a hard border between the Republic and the north has been the catalyst for many of the problems facing Theresa May as she tries to get MPs to sign off the withdrawal agreement signed with the EU.
The current deal would see the UK enter into a so-called backstop arrangement where it would effectively stay in the EU’s customs union after Brexit until a new trade deal could be implemented.
Many critics of the plan argue that as neither London, Dublin or Brussels want to see a hard border in Ireland, such a protocol is not needed.
Speaking to RTE radio on Sunday, Varadkar said: “The U.K. government has already indicated that in the event of no deal the first thing they will do is treat Northern Ireland differently in terms of customs.
“That’s what will be required essentially”
Varadkar said talks had begun in a “preliminary and very rough way,” adding: “There is a real understanding of the unique situation we face in Ireland.”