Irish PM committed to open border even in no-deal Brexit

The Irish prime minister made it clear he is not prepping for a hard border with the UK, ignoring EU warnings that additional checks on goods are essential in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Source: Bloomberg

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar reiterated that he has no contingency plan for a hard border with the UK at a pre-Christmas press conference on Thursday.

Despite the EU warning the Irish prime minister that, should the UK bail out of the bloc without a deal, additional checks on goods and livestock is necessary, Varadkar made it clear that he is committed to maintaining an open border with Britain even in a no-deal scenario.

‘Real difficulties’ lie ahead

During the press conference on Thursday, Varadkar said that there were ‘real difficulties’ ahead for the UK and the Republic of Ireland if Theresa May is unable to gain support for her deal.

‘If the UK crashed out of the EU at the end of March, they would still be aligned on customs and regulations,’ Varadkar said. ‘So the problem would only arise if they decided in some way to change their customs and regulations. That’s where it could get difficult.’

‘There is a real understanding across the EU that this isn’t a typical border, that this is a border that goes through villages, that goes through farms that goes through businesses,’ he added. ‘And of course, it’s a border that people fought and killed other people over as well.’

EU preps for No-deal Brexit

The lack of preparations being made by the Irish government fly in the face of the EU, which announced on Wednesday that it has begun to preparations for a no-deal Brexit after May continues to struggle to gain support for her withdrawal agreement.

The EU Commission revealed 14 measures across a limited number of areas where a no-deal scenario would create ‘major disruption’ for citizens and businesses in the EU27, including financial services, transport and climate policy.

The Commission said that it considers it ‘essential and urgent’ to adopt these measures to limit the most significant damage caused by a no-deal scenario in these areas.

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