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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, left, shakes hands with European Council President Donald Tusk after making a joint statement following their meeting at the Europa building in Brussels, Wednesday, Feb. 6.

European Council president Tusk described the EU itself as a "peace project" and he insists on the Irish backstop plan and said, "we will not gamble with peace or put a sell-by-date on".

In January, the House of Commons voted against the deal agreed by the European Union and the United Kingdom government and later passed an amendment calling for alternative solutions instead of Irish border backstop clause.

During the press conference, Varadkar conceded that Ireland is now preparing for the "fiasco" of a no-deal Brexit.

He told reporters that both Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had a "pro-Brexit stance".

Mr Varadkar - who will host Mrs May in Dublin on Friday - said that while he was "open to further discussions" with the UK Government, "the events in London and the instability in British politics in recent weeks demonstrates exactly why we need a legal guarantee and a solution that is operable, that we know will work and will last".

"Clearly the pressure is beginning to mount in Brussels, we've seen that today from some of the response particularly from the President Donald Tusk", she said.

May was holding meetings with top DUP officials on Wednesday, hoping to reach a compromise as the March 29 Brexit deadline looms.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is due in Brussels on Thursday with what she says is a parliamentary mandate to re-open the draft agreement, sealed after 18 months of intense and highly technical negotiations.

She is holding talks with the five main parties at Stormont House.

But Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator, responded to Mr Tusk's comments by saying that the Brexiteers "would even manage to divide hell".

Such a move could remove the need for the backstop and, some in the European Union believe, may win approval in Britain's parliament.

He said "from rapidly growing creative firms trading with South Korea to specialist machinery firms trading with Mexico, these EU Free Trade Agreements have supported firms of all sizes to grow and could be lost overnight".

Tusk said he hoped May would bring to Brussels "a realistic suggestion on how to end the impasse".

Ministers are hoping European Union will agree to a two-month "grace period" after 29 March in case Prime Minister Theresa May's deal passes through parliament to provide the additional time for necessary legislation, the report said.

May, on a visit to Belfast on Tuesday, tried to reassure Northern Ireland that she can deliver an orderly Brexit that will ensure peace in a province riven by three decades of sectarian conflict until a 1998 accord.


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