Leo Varadkar says he wants EU leaders to be in no doubt

Brexit is the political equivalent of climate change and people need to realise it's a storm that's not going to pass.

That's according to the Taoiseach, who says the decisions made over the next few weeks will impact Ireland for decades.

During the EU summit on Brexit Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took to his feet and raised a copy of Wednesday's Irish Times.

He read from the front page telling the other 26 EU leaders part of the story of a woman whos father was killed at a customs post during The Troubles.

He said: "I just wanted to make sure that there was no sense in the room that in any way anybody in Ireland, or in the Irish Government, was any how exaggerating the real risk of a return to violence in Ireland."

EU leaders hold roundtable talks in Brussels | Image: © European Union

Mr Varadkar also warned people need to realise Brexit is not a storm that's going to pass.

"What Brexit is is the political equivalent of climate change - it's a permanent change", he said.

EU leaders have been open to the idea that the UK could be given an extra year to negotiate a trade deal once they leave in March.

Everyone has accepted the October deadline for a withdrawal agreement won't be met, with some suggestion it might not even get done before Christmas.

That sets up two possibilities in November - a deal or no deal situation.

Either EU leaders will gather to sign off on a deal from the UK, or they'll meet to plan for a no deal scenario where the UK crashes out of Europe, with all the consequences that would bring.