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02 September 2019 21:03

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he may meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson next week.

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Taoiseach set to meet Boris Johnson next week for key Brexit talks

Dame Barbara Windsor asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a kiss during a meeting to discuss dementia. The Carry On and EastEnders actress was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014, and today delivered a letter to Downing Street pleading for better care for fellow sufferers. Dame Barbara attended Number 10 with her husband Scott Mitchell, where she was warmly received by an affectionate Prime Minister. Dame Barbara delivered a letter signed by 100,000 people calling for better care for dementia sufferers. Mr Johnson reminisced with Dame Barbara about his time as Mayor Of London.

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The Prime Minister grew concerned at one point during the meeting, when he asked the actress, who was wrapped in a shawl: "Are you cold? Dame Barbara was joined by representatives from the Alzheimer's Society, who put the case to Mr Johnson for more funding in dementia care. Dame Barbara Windsor and Prime Minister Boris Johnson holding hands (Simon Dawson/PA) More The Prime Minister nodded in agreement with the Alzheimer's Society representatives regarding issues facing care, and gave Dame Barbara assurances he would look into the issue. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was issued the warning by opposition party Fianna Fáil, which said it will closely scrutinise all Brexit measures ahead of the October 8 budget to take place three weeks before the Halloween deadline. Finance spokesman Michael McGrath told the Irish Independent: "We have our own priorities for what needs protection in the event of a no deal Brexit.

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He added he had yet to see the details of the budget plans and what assumptions Mr Varadkar and his team have based them upon. This follows news today deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney has hinted the EU could be preparing for a climbdown over the Irish backstop. Mr Coveney said on Friday: "We all want to get a deal but, at the moment, nothing credible has come from the UK government in terms of alternatives to the backstop. Mr Varadkar has been warned not to waste the Republic's budget on no deal Brexit preparations But it's got to be credible." Remainers, however, are scrambling to get a law passed this week to stop Prime Minister Boris Johnson from being able to opt for a no deal Brexit. This follows news today deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney has hinted the EU will climbdown She agreed, but the decision caused a tsunami of protests up and down the nation with Remainers claiming the UK had been robbed of democracy, despite the Brexit vote still not having been adhered to more than three years after Britons voted to leave.

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Today it emerged Mr Johnson has called an emergency Cabinet meeting later today as he prepares to hold a snap general election in five weeks time. With the Prime Minister on a collision course with Tory rebels in a House of Commons vote tomorrow, No10 has placed itself on war footing for a snap ballot before October 31. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was issued the warning by opposition party Mr Johnson fears if he loses tomorrows crunch vote he will require a fresh mandate from voters to ensure Britain leaves on the EU on time. According to The Sun, the Prime Minister could call a vote on an election as early as this week. Mr Johnson is meeting his Cabinet ahead of his proposed plan.

Mr Johnson fears if he loses tomorrows crunch vote he will require a fresh mandate Moves by all of the State's standalone maternity hospitals onto adult hospital campuses will be progressed under the Health Service Executive's 2019 capital plan, published on Monday. Construction of the National Maternity Hospital on the St Vincent's University Hospital campus is expected to begin late next year or in early 2021, according to the plan. The plan lists a number of risks, including future construction inflation, and an increase in costs caused by new building standards. Opposition parties said the plan, launched on Monday by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and fellow ministers, lacked detail and credibility. However, Mr Varadkar hit out at "political scaremongering" over the cost overruns at the new national children's hospital project. He said claims the rising cost of the children's hospital would force the scrapping of other health projects were "fake" and "made-up". Speaking at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire, he said just 1.3 per cent of the entire annual health budget this year was being spent on the children's hospital, and it accounted for just 0.4 per cent of total Government expenditure. The €11 billion investment in health capital projects planned for the next decade was almost twice the amount provided in the previous 10 years, he pointed out. Sinn Féin health spokeswoman Louise O'Reilly said the plan was long overdue. "We have had to wait three quarters of the year to see the plan due to the chronic overspending on the National Children's Hospital, and there is a worrying lack of detail within the plan itself. Labour Party health spokesman Alan Kelly said the plan was a "complete window dressing exercise." He added: "The delay in this plan being published shows the childrens' hospital overspend is coming home to roost. There is little in this plan to tackle important issues such as the National Maternity Strategy and additional bed capactity for hospitals that see huge overcrowding." Half the budget for the plan is being spent on four projects: the new national children's hospital, the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the National Forensice Mental Health facility at Portrane, and radiation oncology units in Cork, Dublin and Galway. There are also plans to build three elective work-only hospitals in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The plan, which covers the years 2019-2021, provides for 480 new hospital beds, 30 new primary care centres, 58 community nursing units, as well as additional mental health and disability projects. Another €335 million is being provided for capital projects in hospitals and primary care facilities. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he may meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson next week. He said he would listen to alternatives to the backstop, but so far suggestions have been on just managing the border, which he told RTÉ was not the outcome Ireland wanted. The European Commission has said there have been no new "concrete" proposals put forward by the UK on replacing the Irish border backstop. "This is a very volatile and dynamic situation. Events are happening in the House of Commons this week and we're going to have to see how they pan out," Mr Varadkar said. He said Cabinet will meet tomorrow and a new memo on how a no-deal Brexit will affect the country. I am always willing to listen to any proposal that a British Prime Minister has. Of course, I would listen to any proposals that the British Prime Minister may have to achieve that by an alternative means and we provide for alternative arrangements in the joint political declaration. FILE PHOTO: Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrives for a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 2, 2019. DUBLIN (Reuters) - There is time for Britain to put forward concrete Brexit proposals for the Irish border but Dublin will first wait and see how a "volatile" week in the British parliament pans out, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday. Varadkar said alternatives to the Irish backstop insurance policy suggested so far would unobtrusively facilitate controls at the currently seamless border, and while that is better than nothing, it not the outcome Ireland wants. "But I am patient and there is time yet between now and October 31 and like I say, we will look at any proposals that the British government puts forward," Varadkar said, adding that his office was working on two possible dates to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnston next week. "This is a very volatile and dynamic situation. Events are happening in the House of Commons this week and we're going to have to see how they pan out.

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