British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar say that a Brexit deal is "possible" after they sat down for a meeting Thursday.
A joint statement released by Johnson and Varadkar says that their "discussion concentrated on the challenges of customs and consent," as well as "the potential to strengthen bilateral relations, including on Northern Ireland." The Northern Ireland-Irish border has been one of the main sticking points in Johnson's efforts to secure a deal for Brexit, currently scheduled for Oct. 31.
On Oct. 2, Johnson had sent the European Union what he described as a "final" Brexit proposal.
The next day, Varadkar said that Johnson's plan "falls short."
"I don’t fully understand how we can have Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in a separate customs union and somehow avoid there being tariffs and checks and customs posts between North and South," Varadkar said at the time.
The Irish government has been clear that it would not accept a "hard border" Brexit plan where custom checks would be required at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The EU has adopted a similar stance.
Johnson's current plan is thought to include checks on some goods, but not on the border itself.