Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

Varadkar reveals fisheries ‘CARNAGE’ – no deal worsen than expected | UK | News

Ministers held crisis talks in Dublin last night amid further warnings from Brussels that the chances of a Brexit deal are drastically shrinking by the day. They expected job losses and “carnage” to key industries if Britain leaves the European Union without an agreement. During the marathon talks, ministers were also told it was inevitable there would have to be some checks on goods imported from Northern Ireland.

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, spent four-and-a-half hours talking them through the country’s latest no-deal planning document.

Ministers were said to be taken a back by the severity of the new warnings with Brexit less than two months away.

One minister present said: “We’re going to have to level with people. It’s going to be a lot worse than people expect.”

Mr Coveney explained how 10,000 jobs could be lost in the tourism and hospitality industry in just three months after the UK departs the EU.

There is expected to be “carnage” throughout key industries, such as agriculture and fisheries, according to Mr Coveney.

He also revealed that Dublin is working hard to ensure customs checks aren’t introduced on the border after Brexit.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, and his deputy stressed that their no deal planning has focused on protecting the country’s place in the EU’s single market.

This means checks will have to be introduced on goods entering from Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

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The Commission said: “The backstop provided for by the withdrawal agreement is the only solution identified that safeguards the Good Friday Agreement, ensures compliance with international law obligations and preserves the integrity of the internal market.”

EU officials fear that a no deal “will lead to two distinct fiscal and regulatory spaces on the island of Ireland”.

The Brussels-based executive warned that “EU law will require that all goods entering Ireland from the United Kingdom be subject to the relevant checks and controls to protect the safety and health of EU citizens, preserve the integrity of the internal market and enforce compliance with fiscal obligations”.

“The commission and Ireland continue to work together in the context of the unique situation on the island and Ireland,” a Commission spokeswoman said. 

EU diplomats fear that Boris Johnson is ready to renege on a British commitment to protect the Good Friday peace agreement and the all-Ireland economy.

An EU official said: “There is no timeline I can give you today, and no more specifics, the only thing I can say clearly, it’s very clear legally that all the controls and checks will have to be carried out.

“The fact that it will have an impact on the all-Ireland economy is absolutely clear.”

As part of the bloc’s no deal planning, the Commission has opened up its disaster relief fund to provide support to countries hit hardest by Brexit.

“The Commission has today adopted a proposal to extend the scope of the European Solidarity Fund to cover serious financial burden inflicted on Member States directly imputable to a withdrawal without an agreement and that could not be avoided by preparing in advance,” its notice said.

“This involved support to state aid schemes for businesses, measures to preserve existing employment and ensure the functioning of border, customs and sanitary and phytosanitary controls.”

Much of the £700 million war chest is expected to be filtered to Ireland to help pay for customs infrastructure and to protect against potential job losses.

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