Sammy Wilson: Irish no-deal Brexit plans undermine backstop case

Tánaiste Simon Coveney

Tánaiste Simon Coveney

Her DUP colleague Sammy Wilson said a lack of border checks in the plans proved warnings about the frontier were just careless rhetoric.

Simon Coveney told Irish parliament that his government was "more than aware of the threats to the [Irish] beef sector" posed by a no-deal scenario.

Leo Varadkar's government will on Friday publish a large parliamentary bill incorporating 16 pieces of legislation, all created to insulate the country from the deleterious impact of the United Kingdom "crashing out" of the bloc.

The National Driver Learner Centre has advised United Kingdom licence holders living in Ireland that they will not be able to drive in the Republic of Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit next month.

"This legislation points to the reality that in 2019 there is no need for the type of borders we knew in the 70s, 80s and 90s", he said.

He added: "No one is building a so-called hard border or going back to checkpoints with soldiers". To manipulate people's fears in such a way was careless and reckless. We can get that deal but it will require Dublin and Brussels to be reasonable and pragmatic.

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The Irish government has held firm on its insistence on a border backstop in the withdrawal treaty, to ensure a free-flowing border post Brexit.

Hypothesising about what tariffs the United Kingdom might apply to goods after a no-deal Brexit, Coveney said that the only thing that might differentiate Irish beef from that of other countries was its quality.

"The British plan...[chillingly] echoes tactics used against the government of Eamon de Valera during the Anglo-Irish trade war of the 1930s...which saw 20 percent tax duties on some imports including cattle", the Irish Independent stated.

Speaking in the Dail today (Thursday, February 21), Minister Coveney added that state aid rules would be relaxed in order to allow the Government to tackle the potential damage to the sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"The backstop is fiercely supported by the people it is created to protect, our citizens in the Republic, and British and Irish citizens in Northern Ireland". Will this be the same for state aid in the Republic of Ireland?

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