United Kingdom and Switzerland strike post-Brexit continuity agreement

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and the UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and the UK Prime Minister Theresa May

"The government will commit that if the meaningful vote, in other words the deal coming back, has not happened by the 27th of February, then we would allow a further motion - votable in Parliament - to take place, to give that sense of assurance as to the process moving forward", he told the BBC's "Andrew Marr Show".

He said: "I've never thought you could get to another referendum going directly to it - you'll get to it when the people see what the true Brexit alternatives are and the truth is there are two".

"I think that gives that sense of timetable, clarity and goal on what we are doing with the European Union - taking that work forward and our determination to get a deal - but equally knowing that role that Parliament very firmly has".

Supporters accuse Mrs May of trying to run down the clock until Brexit day so she can effectively say to MPs that it is her deal or no deal. While UK PM May's comment might appear to sooth an ongoing drama over Brussels, the European Union leaders had asked for insurance for Northern Irish borders, which appeared to be complicating the overall complexion of the recent round of talks.

DIT says that with the agreement the British vehicle industry, which has consistently warned against a no-deal Brexit, could avoid up to £8m a year in tariff charges on their exports that would apply if the agreement had not been reached.

There are fewer than 50 days until Brexit. If not, the vote would be in March, the same month in which the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU.

May is seeking changes to her deal with Brussels after it was rejected by a record majority in parliament on January 15.

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A customs union is one of the demands made for any deal to get Labour support.

May will make a statement to parliament on February 13 updating lawmakers on her progress so far in seeking changes to her deal.

A number of government ministers will also be meeting their counterparts across the continent this week, in order to underline Mrs May's determination to achieve a deal.

He told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that it would lead to a "very hard border" on the island of Ireland and is contrary to the Good Friday Agreement, the peace deal he helped negotiate which brought an end to The Troubles.

The EU has urged May to grasp Labour's compromise offer rather than press ahead with her preferred option of getting her own divided party onside by renegotiating a clause in the exit agreement relating to the Northern Irish border.

But the Irish government and the European Union have repeatedly rejected calls for changes.

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