Britain 'ready to provide any support' to Ireland, PM says

Leo Varadkar has spoken with Theresa May by phone

Britain 'ready to provide any support' to Ireland, PM says

British Prime Minister Theresa May with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during a joint press conference at 10 Downing Street, London | Image: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/PA Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May says her country is ready to provide any support to Ireland if requested.

Mrs May spoke with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar by phone on Monday afternoon.

On Storm Ophelia, she expressed her sympathies for the loss of life - and said the UK Government stood ready to provide support.

The two leaders also discussed the political situation in Northern Ireland and their "shared concern" over the lack of devolved government in Northern Ireland for over nine months.

A spokesperson for Number 10 Downing Street said: "Both leaders noted that while progress has been made over the past few weeks significant gaps still remained, including on Irish language, and it was up to the two main parties to overcome differences and reach agreement."

Mrs May said she was "absolutely clear" that it was in the interests of everyone in Northern Ireland to see a fully functioning executive up and running so that local decisions could be made by local politicians.

On the UK's departure from the EU, they discussed the importance of maintaining constructive progress in the negotiations.

Both agreed to continue discussions at the EU Council later this week.

And Mrs May reiterated the UK government's commitment to protecting the Belfast Agreement and the Common Travel Area.