Europe

Brexit: Ireland again insists there will be no border checks

Irish border Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Irish government has again said it will have no new checks at or near the border if there is a no deal Brexit

The Irish government has again said it will have no new checks at or near the border if there is a no-deal Brexit.

That is despite an updated contingency plan warning that no deal would mean cross-border trade could not be as frictionless as it is today.

The plan says new checks will be "necessary to preserve Ireland's full participation in the Single Market and Customs Union"

But it does not elaborate on where and how such checks would take place.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said talks were ongoing with the European Commission on how to avoid border checks and also protect the single market.

Mr Coveney said he would not give a running commentary on those talks saying they were "not easy issues to resolve".

The updated contingency plan says: "There should be no illusion - a no-deal Brexit would result in far-reaching change on the island of Ireland.

"The impact of tariffs and of the customs and SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) requirements and associated checks necessary to preserve Ireland's full participation in the Single Market and Customs Union would be significant for the operation of the all-island economy.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Simon Coveney said talks were ongoing with the European Commission on how to avoid border checks

"There is a process of engagement between Ireland and the European Commission on how to meet, in a no-deal scenario, our shared twin objectives of protecting the integrity of the Single Market and Ireland's place in it, and avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

"Both the EU and the UK government agree that no one has yet come up with any alternatives that meet the same objectives as the Withdrawal Agreement."

The document also reveals that additional Garda (Irish police) resources have been deployed to border areas in recent months and this process is continuing.

It adds that in the event of a no-deal Brexit "further resources can, and will, be provided immediately through normal redeployment".

Earlier, Mr Coveney said Ireland is as prepared as it can be for a no-deal.

He said the uncertainty in Westminster now means the government cannot be sure the UK will not crash out of the EU without a deal.

"That is why we regard the threat of a no-deal Brexit as significant," he said.

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