Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will join other EU leaders for a two-day summit in Brussels later today. 

Although Brexit is not on the agenda until tomorrow, leaders are expected to keep a close eye on the first results of the UK general election after they meet for dinner later tonight.

Officials have been keen to stress that the summit is about the EU's bold new plan to be climate-neutral by 2050, as well as relations with Africa, Europe's future place in the world and the EU's seven year budget cycle.

Brexit, though, will never be far from the minds of leaders, who are expected to be discussing the budget when the first UK exit polls roll in around 11pm Brussels time.

Should Boris Johnson win a comfortable majority, then it would have been the last ever EU summit with Britain as a member. 

In any event Mr Johnson will be represented at the summit by Charles Michel, the new European Council President who has taken over from Donald Tusk.

Mr Michel has urged leaders to embrace the new European Commission plan for Europe to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050. 

Eastern European countries, most notably Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, are pushing for more money from the EU budget to offset the cost of transitioning from coal dependency to low carbon economies, but they will face resistance from net contributors.

Tomorrow, the EU will formally react to the UK election results and, depending on the outcome, will call for swift ratification of the EU Withdrawal Agreement. 

However, there is likely to be scepticism that a future trade agreement can be done by the end of next year, as Mr Johnson has predicted.