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

Britain’s Banksy depicts U.S. flag on fire in Floyd tribute

  Reclusive British street artist Banksy published a new artwork online on Saturday which depicts the United States flag being set alight by a candle...

What U.S. police are shooting at protesters

  Police across the United States are using a variety of weapons on protesters during demonstrations against the death of an unarmed black man in...

Cyprus, Greece working together to promote tourism, says Perdios

  Cyprus Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios, underlined that Cyprus and Greece send the message that they have successfully  contained the COVID-19 pandemic, to...

Ministry issues guidelines for operation of gyms

    As part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Health Ministry has unveiled guidelines for the operation of gyms ahead of their...

One death, no new coronavirus cases

    A 68 year old man with coronavirus had died, the Health Ministry said on Saturday as it also announced no new positive cases for...

Taste

Poulles (Υoung kolokassi)

Either you thrash the coriander seeds in a mortar, without making them into dust, or you gradually crush them in a blender. Remove the edges...

Pork cooked in wine

Crush the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar or pulse-blend in a blender, taking care not to over-grind. Put the meat in bowl (not...

Lefkaritikos tavas – O ‘protinos’

Wash and dry the meat and rice separately. In a ‘tava’ (oven proof deep clay pot) first put a layer of five-six pieces of meat...

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...