Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has says the EU, including Ireland, should not let Brexit define it. 

Mr Varadkar made his comments at a conference at Trinity College in Dublin this afternoon, which was looking at the challenges facing the European Union.

The Taoiseach said Ireland is in control of its own destiny and must decide how we want to shape the country. 

He said the EU is a union of nations as well as a union of people with countries that are respected and protected. 

Mr Varadkar also told the conference that more can be achieved when EU countries link and act together, adding that this could be a powerful force for good.  

He said the EU must become better at telling the story of the European Union and how it benefits everyone. 

The Taoiseach said what we receive from the EU, including European citizenship and access to the single market, compared to what we contribute is "a steal".

He also said that Europe had the potential to be a force for greatness but only if people can be convinced of that. 

The Taoiseach said that by working together the EU can solve problems including migration, climate change and the negotiation of a new EU budget. 

He told the conference that agreement on the EU's seven year budget is the next step and is proving difficult.

Leo Varadkar said the union needs a budget that continues to fund programmes like the Common Agricultural Policy.

He also said is wanted to secure a €1 billion Peace Plus programme for Northern Ireland and the border counties.