Coveney says plan for border in event of no-deal Brexit 'does not exist yet'

Coveney says plan for border in event of no-deal Brexit 'does not exist yet'

Update 10.45am: Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said he believes it is unlikely that the UK “will crash out of the EU,” but he is still warning Irish businesses to plan for a no deal Brexit.

He welcomed the latest development of talks between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“We’ve been saying for some time that the way forward is for the two largest parties to work together,” he told RTE radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show.

“That doesn’t mean that we should not be preparing for the consequences of a no deal Brexit. We would not be honest if we didn’t encourage businesses to be ready.”

He pointed out that 80,000 Irish businesses trade with the UK, but that to date only 46,000 have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for a Custom Number.

When asked about the Government’s contingency plans for the border in the event of a no deal Brexit, Mr Coveney said that he cannot give details of “a plan that does not exist yet.

“We have plans for every other contingency.”

However, he was adamant that there will not be a physical border. “We will act with the European Commission on a plan that won’t have a physical infrastructure, but there will still be a negative impact.”

Mr Coveney added “everyone is trying to find a way through this Brexit challenge.”

DUP accuses Theresa May of sub-contracting future of Brexit to Corbyn

By Digital Desk staff

Update: The Democratic Unionists have accused Theresa May of sub-contracting out the future of Brexit to the Labour Party.

The party said Mrs May's lamentable handling of the Brexit negotiations was to blame for her failure to deliver a sensible Brexit deal.

The UK Prime Minister said she would seek an extension beyond the current April 12 Brexit day to allow talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn aimed at ensuring the UK leaves the European Union "in a timely and orderly way".

She said the offer to the Labour leader was an attempt to "break the logjam" after MPs rejected her Withdrawal Agreement three times, and failed to back any of the alternative proposals considered so far.

In a statement, the DUP said: "The Prime Minister's lamentable handling of the negotiations with the EU means she has failed to deliver a sensible Brexit deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom. That is why she has not been able to get it through Parliament.

"Her announcement therefore tonight comes as little surprise. Though it remains to be seen if sub-contracting out the future of Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn, someone whom the Conservatives have demonised for four years, will end happily.

"We want the result of the referendum respected, and just as we joined the Common Market as one country we must leave the EU as one country.

"We will continue to use our position within Parliament and with the Government to argue strongly the case for Northern Ireland and the integrity of the United Kingdom.

"We remain consistent in judging all Brexit outcomes against our clear unionist principles."

Cabinet briefed on Irish preparedness for Brexit

Tanaiste Simon Coveney
Tanaiste Simon Coveney

The Cabinet met last night to discuss Brexit and the latest political developments in London.

Ministers received an update on the country's state of preparedness for the UK's departure from the EU.

In a statement after the meeting, the Government noted the continuing possibility of a no deal Brexit.

The cabinet agreed that preparations and communications with business and citizens should not lose pace.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney said any type of Brexit is going to mean change.

He also urged businesses who have not obtained their customs number, to do so now.

Meanwhile, Theresa May has angered some of her own MPs by inviting Jeremy Corbyn to work with her on a solution to Brexit.

Coveney says plan for border in event of no-deal Brexit 'does not exist yet'

The British Prime Minister says she will ask the EU for another short delay to the UK's departure - while she holds talks with the Labour leader.

Mr Corbyn says he is happy to meet and will push the idea of a customs union.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson says Brexit risks becoming "soft to the point of disintegration".

The British Prime Minister said: "I'm taking action to break the logjam.

"I'm offering to sit down with the leader of the opposition and to try to agree on a plan that we would both stick to, to ensure that we leave the European Union and we do so with a deal."

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