Jun 6, 2019

Trump tells Irish leader Brexit and border issues will go "very well"

President Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

President Trump said Wednesday at a news conference in Ireland Brexit will work out "very well" and so would the border issues it poses for Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is is part of the United Kingdom.

Details: Trump told Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar "it will all work out very well and also for you, with your wall, your border." He said there's "a border situation in the United States and you have one over here." Varadkar responded, "The main thing we want to avoid, of course, is a border or a wall between both sides." Trump replied, "I think you do ... The way it works now is good, you want to try and keep it that way."

Why it matters: Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that will share a land border with other EU countries post-Brexit. Many in Ireland are concerned that Britain's exit from the EU could see the return of a hard border separating the Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic.

The big picture: Trump said Ireland's preferred choice of maintaining the current system of no customs checks between the 2 countries was "a big point of contention" with respect to Brexit, which the Irish government opposed. "I'm sure it's going to work out very well," he said.

  • The president stopped off in Ireland after a 3-day state visit to the U.K., before heading to Normandy, France, for commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
  • Trump visited his golf resort in Ireland after discussing with Varadkar the U.S. and Ireland's economies, E3 visas for Irish citizens and the 2 countries' need to work together to make sure large firms pay their "fair share" of tax, according to the BBC.

Go deeper: Brexit's Irish border headache

Go deeper

In photos: How coronavirus is impacting cities around the world

Revellers take part in the "Plague Doctors Procession" in Venice on Tuesday night during the usual period of the Carnival festivities, most of which have been cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has spread from China to infect people in more than 40 countries and territories around the world, killing over 2,700 people.

The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). Just Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.

See photosArrow23 mins ago - World

Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.