Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The “danger” of a no-deal Brexit is the highest it has been in over two years, Tánaiste Simon Coveney told his Cabinet colleagues today.

As British prime minister Theresa May scrambles to persuade MPs to back a new initiative on the Withdrawal Agreement, Cabinet here discussed the Brexit impasse.

Mr Coveney reiterated to ministers that the Government would not accept a reopening of the deal. But he said that Ireland must continue to prepare for a disorderly Brexit.

Government sources confirmed that Mr Coveney had warned that “the danger of a no-deal had not been greater over the last two-and-a-half years” than now.

The Tánaiste will also update Cabinet next month on staffing an extra 1,100 officials at ports and custom points, as efforts continue to plan for Brexit.

Cabinet heard today how the Government is planning a fresh public awareness campaign over Brexit fears.

This will include a new round of seminars, advertising and awareness around Brexit preparations, both in the public and private sectors. It will also include making businesses aware that they must register with Revenue to trade with British companies after Brexit.

In a statement, Mr Coveney said: “There is no grey space here, if a company trades with the UK after Brexit it will need its EORI number from Revenue.

“We are doing everything we can to avoid a no-deal Brexit but the impasse at Westminster means the possibility is still there for the UK to leave without a deal at the end of October.”

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