IRISH premier Leo Varadkar has said everyone in Ireland and the UK should be afraid of a no-deal Brexit.

Varadkar also rejected criticism that he was engaging in “Project Fear-style” rhetoric over a united Ireland after Brexit.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the taoiseach needed to “dial down the rhetoric”.

Last week Varadkar said moderate unionists and nationalists could question being part of the UK if they were forced into a hard Brexit.

Foster accused him of behaving “crassly” towards victims of the Northern Ireland conflict in the past.

“He needs to dial down the rhetoric, he needs to recognise the mandate of the Prime Minister and he needs to engage. He needs to get engaged and he needs to find a way forward.”

But speaking in Kilkenny on Thursday, Varadkar said: “In terms of engagement, I have never refused a meeting request from the DUP and never refused a phone call from Arlene either, and she has my number.

“In terms of fear, I think we should be afraid of a No-Deal Brexit.

“No political party is involved in these negotiations, they are inter-governmental by nature, and I have spoken to the new Prime Minister by phone and I have invited him to come to Dublin to talk about these matters some more without any preconditions, so that’s really an invitation for him to decide on.

“A No-Deal Brexit would have very serious impacts on the economy, north and south, and on Britain. It could have security implications as well and it could have constitutional implications.

“It’s something that we have to prepare for nonetheless. It is something we should be afraid about.”

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson held a private dinner with senior DUP figures as he visited Northern Ireland for the first time as Prime Minister.

Asked whether he was worried about the Prime Minister’s ability to be impartial over Northern

Ireland after the private dinner, Varadkar said: “I think that remains to be seen.”