The taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called for “a level playing field” in the Brexit negotiations.

The Irish prime minister said there must be a common minimum standard so the UK could not “undercut” the EU.

He said the next step is to negotiate a free trade agreement between the UK and EU.

Mr Varadkar spoke as the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen visited Ireland for the first time in her current role.

Ms von der Leyen and Mr Varadkar met to discuss Brexit and the European Green Deal on Wednesday evening.

Mr Varadkar said he wanted to “restate Ireland’s deep appreciation and thanks” for solidarity shown by the commission, European Institutions and other member states over Brexit.

“Only as a result of that, we have a Withdrawal Agreement which

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