Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has presented ministers with a revised contingency action place in the case of a no deal Brexit becoming a reality. He has made it clear that Ireland must be ready for all potential Brexit outcomes and has called the threat of a no-deal Brexit “significant”. Boris Johnson, who is the frontrunner in the Tory leadership campaign, has made it clear that he is prepared for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on October 31.
If the UK does leave the bloc without a deal, the issue of how to avoid a hard border in Ireland would become a crisis and the problem of finding a solution for the Irish border would continue.
The contingency plans covers preparations in various sectors, which include aviation, road haulage, retail and tourism
Mr Coveney told The Irish Times: “A no-deal Brexit will be very challenging.
“It will put huge strain on certain sectors of the economy. It will perhaps be most damaging for Northern Ireland.
“We want to work to ensure a no-deal doesn’t happen, but we have to prepare for that scenario, and we have to face up to the ugly truths of what it means, in terms of the imposition of tariffs on this island and the imposition of non tariff trade barrier on this island also.”
The Irish Government has warned of a potential £6 billion cost to the Irish economy if there is a no-deal Brexit and said there would be an estimated increase in unemployment of 50,000 to 55,000.
The report said that in a no-deal scenario, all foods and animals from Northern Ireland will not be able to enter the EU without checks.
The European Commission has declared that delivering a solution to the Irish border is a “precondition” for Britain to start future trade talks in the event of a no deal.
Mr Coveney also said: “It will be a fundamental disruption to how the all-island economy functions today in such a seamless way.
“It will put strain and stress on not only that trade but the political systems that back it up too. That is the risk of no-deal that people need to understand in very blunt terms, because it is the truth and we shouldn’t sugar-coat it.”
The document released by the Irish government said: “There should be no illusion – a no-deal Brexit would result in far-reaching change on the island of Ireland.
“This would particularly impact on North-South trade, which could no longer be as frictionless as it is today.”