June 13, 2018 / 1:15 PM / a month ago

Irish PM says EU needs decisions from UK, not internal debate

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The British government needs to move on from internal debates and make choices about what it wants from Brexit, and must acknowledge that it cannot have its cake and eat it, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday.

Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to a gathering celebrating the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Varadkar made the comments as British Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to avoid an embarrassing defeat in parliament on the second day of debates over her post-Brexit trade plans.

“I think the UK needs to make decisions and make some choices. They continually seem to have internal debates,” Varadkar told parliament. “Putting a decision off doesn’t make it any easier.”

“While there have been some improvements in recent months it is very often the case that the policy of having your cake and eating it still seems to be at the center of the asks that they are making of the European Union,” Varadkar said.

Asked by an opposition deputy if it would be possible for the European Union to extend the March 31, 2019 deadline for Britain to leave, Varadkar said it would be possible with the unanimous agreement of the remaining 27 EU members.

“I would rather not talk about extending that deadline at the moment,” he said. “It is not something that the UK has requested so I don’t think we should even consider it at this stage.”

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans

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