Irish, British PMs pledge to align closely on coronavirus - spokesman

Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meet in Thornton Manor

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The prime ministers of Ireland and Britain agreed in a phone call on Thursday to align in so far as possible the neighbouring countries' actions to help slow the spread of coronavirus, a spokesman for the Irish government said.

The two leaders also agreed on the importance of close co-operation in the context of the operation of the common travel area between Britain and Ireland, which includes Ireland's open border with British-run Northern Ireland, the spokesman added.

"The (British) Prime Minister outlined the steps announced yesterday to close the schools. The Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) welcomed this decision which had brought a greater closeness between the position in Ireland and Northern Ireland," he said in a statement.


(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Chris Reese)