Ireland ‘would be HAMMERED by no-deal Brexit’

Ireland would be HAMMERED by no-deal Brexit with huge queues at ports, Dublin’s own contingency plans admit

  • Ireland has published its contingency plans for the UK crashing out of the EU
  • Assessment warns it is only ‘damage limitation’ and there will be a ‘severe’ hit
  • Report was issued after the EU released details of its wider no-deal preparations  

Ireland would be hammered by a no-deal Brexit with huge queues at ports, according to Dublin’s own contingency plans.

Hundreds of parking spaces for trucks are being created at the port at the Republic’s capital, but the preparations will not be ready for the UK crashing out in March.

In a section that could be seized on by Brexiteers, the plans published by the Irish government insist it will still try to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland even if there is no deal.   

But it warned there would be ‘severe’ impacts and any measures that are taken can only be a ‘damage limitation exercise’.  

Deputy PM Simon Coveney admitted the problems highlighted in the report were ‘stark’ and ‘sobering’. 

Irish deputy PM Simon Coveney (file picture) admitted the problems highlighted in the report were ‘stark’ and ‘sobering’

The details were revealed after the EU issued its own no-deal update, making clear there will be restrictions on British airlines, extra customs checks and limits on the UK’s banks and insurers.

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said a disorderly British exit would be a ‘catastrophe’, while one EU official warned of the worst disruption at Britain’s borders ‘since wartime’. 

Holyhead in Wales is one of the main destinations served by Dublin port but the UK’s role as a so-called land-bridge between Ireland and Europe has been cast into doubt by fears of a hard Brexit.

According to the Irish plans, work is ongoing to create 33 inspection bays for trucks coming off ships. Parking for 270 trucks would ensure those awaiting inspection do not halt other port traffic.

Office accommodation for an additional 144 staff will be required within the area. 

It said the application of World Trade Organisation tariffs and regulatory divergence could affect supply chains and the cost and/or availability of imports from the UK.

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‘A further fall in the value of sterling would impact on the competitiveness of Irish businesses, while a deterioration in economic conditions in Britain could impact on exports.

‘Whilst Brexit’s potential macro-economy impacts dominate headlines, Brexit has the potential to impact every element of economic functionality: trade flows, supply chains, economic and business operations, the labour market and consumer confidence and spending.’

It highlighted particular pressures on sectors like agri-food, fisheries, aviation and road transport, pharma-chemicals, electrical machinery, retail and wholesale business.

The economic impact is also likely to be greater in certain regions – especially near the border with Northern Ireland – and on smaller businesses that are more dependent on trade with Britain and Northern Ireland.  

Mr Coveney said the country was accelerating its planning for the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Ireland and Brussels have insisted on including a ‘backstop’ in the Withdrawal Agreement to avoid a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. 

But he suggested there would still be a ‘determined’ effort not to put border infrastructure in place.  

‘If we don’t have that deal, then preventing border infrastructure is still something we are determined to do, but it becomes much more complicated and we don’t have a contingency plan to avoid border infrastructure in this document… 

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker today announced the bloc has started implementing no-deal Brexit plans 

A Government report said: ‘For Ireland, a no-deal Brexit would potentially involve severe macroeconomic, trade and sectoral impacts.

‘Grappling with the enormous range of impacts both in the immediate short term and in the longer term will involve difficult and significant choices of a practical, strategic and political nature.’

The 130-page dossier said: ‘A no-deal Brexit would have negative consequences for Irish growth, both in the short and long run, relative to a no-Brexit scenario.’

An increase in public borrowing may be required.

The Government report said: ‘A no-deal Brexit would be an exceptional economic event which would be met with exceptional measures to support the continued operation of the Irish economy and our international trading links.’

It said there would be gaps in policing and justice arrangements with Northern Ireland including the European Arrest Warrant which allows for the speedy extradition of suspects.

It warned the movement of people and businesses out of the UK could present economic opportunities but risked placing strain on infrastructure. 

Theresa May (pictured at No10 yesterday) has activated all 320 of the UK’s no deal Brexit contingency plans yesterday

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