In this March 15, 2018 photo, Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar speaks during the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (MANEL NGAN / AFP)
BELFAST — Ireland's prime minister urged Britain and the European Union on Tuesday to use the time until Brexit, set for Oct 31, to explore alternative arrangements as part of a joint political declaration on their future relationship.
"We can talk about the joint political declaration on the future relationship," Leo Varadkar said in a debate in Belfast with other political figures, "and in that there is provision for alternative arrangements.
"Why don't we start there and see if between now and October 31 we can't flesh them out? If we come to October 31 and we haven't fleshed them out, then there's the option of an extension (of Britain's EU membership). Or there's the option of leaving with the (Irish border) backstop, with the alternative arrangements to be sorted out in the implementation period."
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