World Bulletin / News Desk
Varadkar’s comment came during his first official visit as Ireland’s new head of government to the U.K.’s Northern Ireland region.
The island of Ireland is set to be further divided when the U.K. -- including Northern Ireland -- leaves the EU in 2019. The Republic of Ireland will remain an EU member state.
Varadkar’s short tenure as Irish leader so far has seen a marked hardening in Dublin’s attitude to Britain’s Brexit issues, with the taoiseach last week saying his government was not interested in “designing a border for the Brexiteers”.
An Irish parliamentary report released earlier this week also raised the issue of building a post-Brexit all-Ireland state, completely independent from the U.K.
In a keynote speech at Queen’s University Belfast on Friday, Varadkar said Britain’s exit from the EU will affect all aspects of life in Northern Ireland, where a majority of voters in the June 2016 referendum chose to remain in Europe.
“The Brexit negotiations are well under way in Brussels. And, to quote [EU negotiator] Michel Barnier, the clock is ticking,” he added.
Speaking about the expected effects of Brexit, Varadkar said “every single aspect of life” in Northern Ireland would be influenced by the ending of the U.K.’s 44-year membership of the EU.
“The three key issues are citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and issues relating to Ireland. It is my fervent hope that progress will have been made, but I do not underestimate the challenges we face,” Varadkar said.
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The 15 council members held the commemoration at the start of a session dedicated to the crisis in Yemen.
Catalonia police spokesman Josep Lluis Trapero added that a driver who mowed down crowds of pedestrians in the first attack in a busy Barcelona street Thursday could be among five suspects later shot dead in a nearby city.
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For his part, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told RTL radio that "the number of those who have been seriously injured may perhaps be even higher at around 17."
New York Police Department officials said the force would hold a press conference but declined to provide scheduling details.
Death toll feared to rise due to severe conditions of the many injured
The pickup truck, which had an improvised white wooden trailer constructed over the back, was transporting them in "overcrowded and unsanitary conditions," said a state police report seen by AFP.
At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 injured when a driver deliberately slammed his vehicle into crowds on Barcelona's most popular street -- Las Ramblas -- in what police qualified as a "terror attack."
The van attack that mowed down pedestrians on Barcelona's most famous street on Thursday killing at least 13 people was the latest fatal assault on a European city.