A Brexit deal could be clinched by the end of October to allow the United Kingdom to leave the European Union in an orderly fashion, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said after what he called a very positive meeting with his British counterpart Boris Johnson.
With just three weeks to go before the United Kingdom is due to leave the world’s biggest trading bloc, it is still unclear on what terms it will leave or indeed whether it will at all.
Ireland holds the key to any deal. It will have to consent to any solution to the hardest Brexit riddle of all: how to prevent the British province of Northern Ireland becoming a backdoor into the EU’s markets without having border controls.
The EU fears controls on the 500-km (300 miles) Irish border with Northern Ireland would undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which ended three decades of sectarian and political conflict that killed over 3,600 people.
Ireland is the biggest issue of disagreement.