No easy answers on impact of no-deal Brexit on border - Ireland

Jeannie Matthews
July 11, 2019

It also finds that scenario would have "immediate and severe consequences" for the region's competitiveness both in the United Kingdom and in terms of the all-island economy.

And while the Contingency Action Plan Update says it is difficult to forecast the full impact on the Irish economy, it warns that small business will be hardest hit and tens of thousands of people could lose their jobs.

How to manage the land border between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland - including an emergency "backstop" solution to prevent the return of extensive controls - remains the most contentious part of Britain's divorce deal the contenders to become the next British prime minister want renegotiated.

"This risk is particularly acute for the agri-food sector where certain commodity prices for larger agri-food exporting non-EU countries are much lower than local prices (especially for beef)".

Ireland will not impose any restrictions along its now open border with British-run Northern Ireland if Britain quits the European Union without a deal but will need to take "some action somewhere" to protect the European Union single market, its foreign minister said. "A decision on policy would be for a Minister".

Meanwhile, the former top civil servant at the Brexit department has insisted planning for No Deal is in "good shape" - while cautioning that there will be consequences for the economy.

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SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan described the report as "stark".

"This places a twin pressure on NI's most important markets, leaving businesses with limited option and the NI economy facing an absolute decline in exports and external sales".

Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) director Aodhan Connolly said the findings should come as no surprise.

Ireland has accepted the need to set up checks with Northern Ireland in a no-deal Brexit scenario, people familiar with the matter said.

Speaking after the report's release, Mr Coveney said a no-deal Brexit would "put political relationships on this island under a great deal of strain".

"A no-deal Brexit should not even be remotely considered by the UK Government".

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