Ireland's prime minister says Boris Johnson's Brexit plans 'fall short'

Ireland's prime minister says Boris Johnson's Brexit plans 'fall short'
© Stefani Reynolds

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new Brexit plans "fall short."

The Irish leader said Thursday he does not understand how Johnson's plans would sidestep the need for customs checks along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, The Irish Times reported.

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"I don’t fully understand how we can have Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in a separate customs unions and somehow avoid there being tariffs and checks and customs posts between North and South," he said. "So we need to tease that through."

Varadkar made his speech after a meeting with the Swedish prime minister, announcing the Irish government would not be able to support a Brexit plan that placed custom checks at the border, according to the Irish newspaper.

The prime minister said he would rather have no deal reached by the Oct. 31 deadline than installing checks at the border. He also emphasized he wanted the majority of Irish people to agree with the solution that's enacted.

“Having to do that for a period of time while we negotiate a deal or while we pursue other solutions is very different to an Irish Government actually signing up in an international treaty to putting in place checks between north and south and that is something that we can not countenance,” The Irish Times reported he said.

Johnson proposed his "final offer" for the Brexit Wednesday, which he celebrated as "a compromise for both sides."