The 131-page plan sets out what Dublin will need to do if Theresa May is unable to convince MPs to back her unpopular deal by March 29, 2019. The document covers a series of “damage-limiting” measures for Ireland’s economy, security and relations with Northern Ireland and comes just a day before MPs and peers in Westminster rise for the Christmas break. Emergency action to be implemented includes an urgent expansion of major airports and seaports to handle the “significant increase” in checks on goods.
But all of the changes needed are not expected to be ready at the ports by the time Britain leaves.
On the issue of aviation, Mr Coveney said a “skeleton arrangement” would be put in place to allow continued flights between the UK and Ireland.
Ireland has previously warned flights to Britain could be severely impacted in a no-deal Brexit.
But Mr Coveney added: “It becomes a much more different business model for non-EU aircraft coming out of the UK… it is not a pretty picture.”
And on the prospect of a ‘hard border’ emerging between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, Dublin appears just as baffled as London on how to avoid the need for physical infrastructure.
The document says there are no contingency plans to immediately begin building border checkpoints but does commit to avoiding a hard border.
However the planning does not expand on how this aim would be achieved.
The Irish government also anticipates around 45 pieces of emergency legislation will need to be passed as soon as possible.
To achieve this, officials warn all other business in the parliament will grind to a halt.
Mr Coveney also warned Brexiteers pushing for a “managed no deal”, or a “no-deal deal” as he called it, would be harmful for both Britain and Ireland.
He said: “There is no deal that makes a ‘no-deal’ easy.
“If Britain leaves without a deal, it’s going to take a long time to put in place a future comprehensive trading arrangement.”