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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019

Brexit back on Cabinet agenda as Tánaiste says no-deal Brexit preparations must continue

Leo Varadkar is to meet UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Dublin in the next few weeks.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

TÁNAISTE SIMON COVENEY is to tell his Cabinet colleagues of the need to continue preparations for a no-deal Brexit scenario. 

While there has been a pause on Brexit news for a number of weeks, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said over the weekend that she is preparing to make a “bold offer” to MPs in one final attempt to get them to back her Brexit deal.

May said that when she brings the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before parliament early next month, it will come with a new package of measures attached that she hopes can command majority support.

Over the weekend, Coveney ruled out any renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement. 

Returning to the issue of Brexit today, the Tánaiste will bring a memo to Cabinet with a discussion on the current situation in Westminster likely to take place.

The memo, which will outline of the state of play in Brexit, is being brought against the backdrop of the breakdown in talks between the Conservatives and Labour in London.

Leo to meet Jeremy Corbyn

In light of the talks breaking down, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is set to have his first official meeting with British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in Dublin in the next few weeks. 

Coveney has previously stated that the collapse of Brexit compromise talks between the Conservatives and Labour in the UK was “a very negative” development for both Ireland and the EU.

Today’s Cabinet discussion will focus on the need to continue preparations in both the public and private sectors for a no-deal scenario, and the need for Irish businesses to obtain an EORI customs numbers in order to continue trading with the UK in a no-deal situation.

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste are set to emphasise that the Withdrawal Agreement is not up for negotiation given its crucial role in protecting the peace process, the Common Travel Area, and avoiding any hard border.

They are also likely to point out that there is scope for further discussions between the EU and the UK, but only as part of talks on the future relationship.

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