'The UK don't seem to know what 'Leave' means' - Leo Varadkar on Brexit referendum

He says Ireland must look after its own interests first

Leo Varadkar, Brexit, Boris Johnson, UK, Brussels, summit, negotiations, Ireland,

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar at Dublin Castle | Image: RollingNews.ie

As EU leaders meet to discuss Britain's exit from the European Union, one minister says the UK does not seem to understand what 'Leave' really means.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar says Ireland must look after its own interests above all else.

Mr Varadkar also says he hopes the border between Ireland and the UK will remain open.

"I think it's our duty as a country to put our own interests first - on most things actually our interests and those of the United Kingdom will be the same," Mr Varadkar told Newstalk Lunchtime.

"The big difficulty as I see it from the United Kingdom is they don't really seem to know what 'Leave' means."

"I heard Boris Johnson talking yesterday about (how) all the Europeans who live in Britain can stay there - that's not what some people who voted to 'Leave' thought it meant."

"And even Boris yesterday was talking about British people still having the right to live, study, work and trade freely in Europe...I think he famously said once that his policy on cake was that he was pro-eating it and pro-having it - but the British may well find that's not quite possible."

"People almost forget about the benefits of (the) European Union, and there's a big duty I think on all of us to start making the case for Europe again."