Barnier in Dublin for Brexit talks as April 12th deadline looms

The Taoiseach will meet the EU's Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Dublin later.

The meeting comes ahead of a crucial week for Brexit.

Michel Barnier requested this visit to Dublin to show EU solidarity with Ireland in the week of what will be a crucial European Council meeting.

The Taoiseach and Mr Barnier will exchange views on Brexit ahead of that summit - and the progress, or lack thereof, in the UK.

Theresa May has asked for a Brexit extension to June 30th - but the EU isn't overly confident she can get a deal done by then.

So the proposal on the table is a 'flextension' - kick the Brexit date into next year, but allow the UK to leave earlier if MPs sign the withdrawal agreement.

The Taoiseach will tell Michel Barnier today that he's open to an extension but it would need to be accompanied by a plan.

But Leo Varadkar will also re-emphasize that the withdrawal agreement can't be re-negotiated.

Preparations for a no-deal Brexit will be on the agenda - because right now the legal position is still that come Friday, the UK will crash out of the EU.