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Taoiseach regrets North has not kept up with South on marriage equality

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he regrets that Northern Ireland has not kept up with the South in introducing change around marriage equality and the right to choose.

Speaking during a trip to Belfast, Mr Varadkar said it is a shame those issues have got caught up in a tussle between Unionism and Nationalism, Orange and Green.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland today is unrecognizable from the country he grew up in, where being bi-racial was unusual, divorce was not an option, being gay was something you kept to yourself and young women facing a crisis pregnancy, faced it alone.

Speaking at last night's Alliance Party Conference Dinner in Belfast, he told delegates that he believes the right to marry the person you love and the right of a woman to make choices about her body should not be about Orange and Green - adding that the largest march in Northern Ireland every year is rainbow-coloured.

On Brexit, the Taoiseach said the deal on the table is fair and good - not least because it contains the guarantee that there will be no hard border - and that it allows for a period of transition to work on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.