Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described the British White Paper on Brexit as an evolution of the UK’s position, but he did not think it provided a solution to Brexit.

He said it was something that could be inputted into the negotiations on future relationships.

Mr Varadkar said the European Union, in its conclusions to its Brussels summit two weeks ago, called on member states to step up their preparations for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking in Westport, Co Mayo, he said: "It’s not that we think that’s a likely scenario … but we think it’s prudent that every member state should plan for the worst."

He said it would be a specific topic for discussion at the meeting of the Cabinet in Kerry next week and "we should be able to produce some documents after that".

Mr Varadkar said: "What we are not preparing for is a border between north and south but we will need to make preparations for changes at our ports and airports."

He said that even if there is not a hard Brexit or no-deal scenario "at some stage in the future there may need to be checks that don’t currently exist".

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