Speculation about 'no deal' Brexit damages Irish economy

Jeannie Matthews
November 19, 2018

A group of Northern Ireland politicians are meeting with the Taoiseach in Dublin to discuss the draft Brexit deal. This agreement will mean minimum additional border controls or disruptions which will enable Ireland to remain competitive. "It is clear to me that numerous MPs are now aware of the potential disaster a "no deal" departure from the European Union would mean for the United Kingdom and the countries trying to trade with it, principally Ireland".

"So those hard Brexiteers who say that just through good political will you could avoid a hard border, that doesn't make sense", Varadkar said.

Mr Varadkar, who described the news of the cabinet backing the draft agreement as "one of the better days in politics", said he thought people had underestimated the "mettle and courage" of Theresa May.

He added: "The only way we can avoid a hard border is by an agreement".

He said he would not speculate on how that could be achieved.

"None of them solve the Irish border question".

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May has pledged to see her Brexit plan through, despite ministerial resignations and a plan to topple her by disgruntled Conservative lawmakers opposed to major elements of the deal.

He said: "I could today stand here and take the Prime Minister through the list of promises and pledges that she made to this House and to us privately about the future of Northern Ireland and the future relationship with the European Union but I fear it would be a waste of time since she clearly doesn't listen".

Mr Varadkar said he did not think the draft agreement could be re-negotiated before the end of March and that "any renegotiation would involve postponing Brexit".

Their statement was issued several hours after the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) claimed a no-deal Brexit would be "absolutely disastrous".

"We would find ourselves after a very chaotic opening period having to agree something, having to agree something around aligning regulations and customs", he said.

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