Escalating tensions between Dublin and London; the growing prospect of a disorderly British EU exit; and a precarious Budget are some of the headaches faced by the Government with the latest Brexit crisis.
Boris Johnson’s ruse to silence the House of Commons - as he drives a coach-and-four through British democracy to achieve his Brexit and electoral goals - has sent politicians into a spin on both sides of the Irish Sea.
This is indeed a “smash and grab” on democracy, as Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn quipped about Johnson’s plan to suspend, or prorogue, parliament in the lead-up to the Brexit Halloween deadline.
At a time in British and Irish history when a fragile peace process in the North is under threat and relations between Ireland and Britan are at a new low, Britain’s own politicians will be left voiceless as Mr Johnson steers his country towards a chaotic crash out of the EU.
Britain has, at length, criticised the EU, the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop for being undemocratic.
But Mr Johnson’s plan truly is undemocratic. Furthermore, here is an unelected primeminister, primarily advised by an unelected advisor (Dominic Cummings), asking an unelected monarch to shut down an elected forum.
So what are the implications for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the fragile Fine Gael-led coalition and our own hard Brexit plans with just over 60 days before the Armageddon of a no-deal takes shape?
Tenuous proposals for animal and food checks away from the border and online tariffs are being considered. Secret talks with the EU on these remain under wraps.
‘Wait’ is what ministers say day after day when quizzed. The first post-summer Cabinet meeting next week will surely get around to this.
Another headache for Mr Varadkar’s Cabinet is spending plans for 2020. At this time of year, newspaper pages are usually jammed with leaked pre-budget spending ideas or cuts.
However, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is having to plan a budget for either a yes or a no-deal Brexit. Simply put, there could either be tax cuts or Brexit bailouts next year - we just don’t know yet.
And with more than two weeks still before the Dáil returns, all eyes are on Irish politicians meeting with their British counterparts.
The signals are not good. Political sources said there were tense talks (officially denied) between Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, and British Brexit secretary, Steven Barclay, in Paris this week, with the latter bluntly brushing aside previous commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement and insisting that the backstop must go.
Mr Coveney’s frustrations were evident in a media interview in which he criticised the British government for simply “wiping the slate clean on the Irish issue in terms of the commitments they have made”.
And, referencing Mr Johnson’s promise that Britain will not put up any checks on the Border, Mr Coveney told a conference in Paris: “That’s the kind of conversation I would have with my six-year-old child, that ‘I won’t do it if you won’t do it’, despite the fact that the rules of trade require it.”
And all of this is before Mr Johnson and Mr Varadkar meet face-to-face is in the next fortnight.Officially, the government here do not want to get involved in internal British politics. But the time for action-rather than calm observation-is coming to an end.
Mr Varadkar needs to outline Ireland’s plan for a no-deal Brexit and ensure Mr Johnson’s usurping of parliamentary power does not push the EU to drop the backstop.