News World Irish government under pressure at home over no-deal Brexit border plans

Irish government under pressure at home over no-deal Brexit border plans

Ireland’s government came under further pressure on Wednesday to explain how its border with British-run Northern Ireland would be managed if Britain leaves the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in March.

A suggestion by the European Commission’s chief spokesman on Tuesday that a no-deal Brexit would lead to the return of a hard border on the island, complete with customs checks, focused attention on Dublin’s insistence that it will not even countenance contingency plans for such an outcome.

The spokesman added on Wednesday that the bloc would do its utmost to avoid a hard border regardless of how Brexit goes.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s government will only say that there would have to be “very difficult conversations” over border arrangements if Britain leaves without a deal.

Challenged on that position a number of times on national radio on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said: “We have made it an imperative in our negotiating strategy from day one that we would not countenance border infrastructure.”

“It is imperative now that the focus remains fully on London,” Creed told Ireland’s RTE.

Mairead McGuinness, a vice president of the European Parliament and member of Varadkar’s Fine Gael party, said all sides needed to wait and see what emerges from the British parliament next week, particularly regarding an opposition amendment that could prevent a no-deal Brexit in March.

That attempt gained momentum in London on Wednesday, pushing sterling to its highest level against the dollar in two months.

Opposition politicians in Ireland, who last year gave near unanimous backing to the divorce deal, including the “backstop” insurance policy to keep the border open, are now demanding more clarity on no-deal border planning.

“If we’re committed to no border in the event of a no-deal Brexit, I would very much welcome – as I think our citizens would – an explanation as to how that’s possible and what they’re going to do about it,” Lisa Chambers, Brexit spokesman for the main Fianna Fail opposition party, told RTE.

“Because the question is being rightly asked that it doesn’t really add up.”

Ireland’s main business lobby continued to back Dublin’s emphatic stance on the “backstop” but said it would begin to push harder for some kind of means to avoid a cliff-edge exit if the risk of a no-deal outcome increases.

“From a business point of view, the most important thing is time, so even if we find ourselves in a no-deal scenario, we need a transition. Mechanisms can be found to retain the status quo for a period of time,” the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) policy chief Fergal O’Brien told Reuters.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Higher fines for traffic offences move step closer

    Higher fines for traffic offences, long sought by police to reduce the number of road accidents, came a step closer today after the House...

64.8% of hospitalised Covid patients were male – weekly report

The Thursday report of the Health Ministry's Epidemiological Surveillance Unit has found that as of May 26 64.8% of all hospitalised Covid-19 patients (114...

Two more test positive to Covid-19, both through tracing

There were two new Covid-19 cases in Cyprus the Health Ministry said, both found through tracing the contacts of confirmed cases (60 tests today),...

Burial in Turkish-held north of enclaved G/C permitted 20 days after death

  Turkish Cypriot authorities yesterday finally allowed the remains of an enclaved Greek Cypriot from the Turkish-occupied village of Ayia Triada who died 20 days...

Additional relaxations in new Health Ministry decree

  Pleasure boats and sea sports are back, under conditions, following a decree issued on Thursday by Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou, CNA reports. The new decree...

Taste

Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and scented yoghurt

Lay the lamb on a tray, skin side down. Rub with crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices and ground pistachios, wrap in plastic wrap and...

Easy seafood pasta with white wine sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream 1/3 cup white wine 300g spaghetti, roughly broken 300-400g of...

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...