APPARENTLY the enormous importance of trade with the UK has just dawned on the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.

With a fortnight to go before the UK leaves the EU, the devastating impact that failure to secure a free trade deal will have on the Irish economy has finally been accepted.

Fifty per cent of Irish beef production is exported to UK customers. Eighty per cent of Irish milk comes here. Only the US is a bigger export destination.

But what should concern Mr Varadkar and his government is the fact that Irish exports to the rest of the EU are mostly transported on HGVs via UK roads to Channel ports. Any disruption in this supply route could tip the country into a deep recession.

If there is congestion at Dover as a result of EU intransigence, why would we allow Irish trucks to add to the mayhem?

This is not the time to put EU solidarity first. It is time to look after your own citizens, Mr Varadkar.

DW Lacey, Newton Hall, Durham