Tánaiste warns disorderly Brexit could cause 'security concerns'

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has warned that a disorderly Brexit risks undermining stability in the North and triggering "security concerns".

Addressing a Dáil debate on the Government's latest contingency plans for a no-deal, Mr Coveney also signalled that there will be more emergency funds for sectors and firms in the October budget.

With just over 100 days before the October 31 Brexit deadline, the Government this week admitted for the first time that there could be fresh checks and charges on goods going over the border.

This has prompted concerns there may be new infrastructure erected along the border - a scenario the Government and EU figures insisted would never happen. Nonetheless, the location and types of potential border control check, particularly for goods coming from the North, has yet to be revealed.

Mr Coveney warned of any negative impact on the peace process yesterday. The caution comes almost three months after the shooting dead of young journalist, Lyra McKee, who was fatally wounded during rioting in the Creggan area of Derry on April 18 last. This weekend will again see marches on the streets in the North for the annual July 12 celebrations.

Mr Coveney said: “The risks of a no-deal Brexit are most acute with regard to its possible impact on Northern Ireland, North-South relations and the Good Friday Agreement.

"A no-deal Brexit risks significantly undermining wider community relations and political stability in Northern Ireland with potential related security concerns.

"The impact of tariffs, of the customs and sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, requirements and associated checks necessary to preserve Ireland's full participation in the single market and customs union would impact significantly on the all-island economy."

Nonetheless, amid doubts over how any controls and tariffs may impact on firms trading with the North, Mr Coveney signalled that a fresh round of Brexit emergency funds will be in the Budget: “Prudent economic planning and building the resilience of the economy have been a key part of our preparations, with the provision of supports to help businesses and other affected sectors to prepare.

"This will continue as we prepare for Budget 2020, including making provision for targeted funding for the sectors most affected in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

But Fianna Fáil's Brexit spokeswoman, Lisa Chambers, said that the Government's updated plan this week contains little detail to reassure traders and retailers with a no-deal looming.

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