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Taoiseach says 'perhaps not all the same brands' will be on supermarket shelves after no-deal Brexit

Varadkar offered a stark assessment of a no-deal scenario in a speech this evening.

Image: Leah Farrell

THE TAOISEACH LEO Varadkar has warned that there will be checks on goods and live animals “near the Border” in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking at a British Irish Chamber of Commerce event this evening the Taoiseach said that, deal or no-deal, Brexit is not a storm to be weathered but a “permanent change” in the political and economic environment in which the European Union and Britain will exist.

Varadkar said that political developments in the UK mean that the risk of a no-deal Brexit is growing and he believes that “there is a possibility we may have to live with no-deal for a period”.

He offered a stark assessment of a no-deal scenario, listing some changes that people will notice including no longer being able to pass through the blue channel when flying into Ireland from the UK and customers having to make some adjustments in their shopping basket. 

“There will still be plenty of food on shelves but perhaps not all of the same brands,” he said.

Flights, trains and buses will continue to operate normally for a period but an agreement will be needed for this to continue permanently. 

He sought to reassure people that he doesn’t foresee any significant changes in medical supplies but tariffs will apply to goods imported into Ireland from the UK and vice versa.

“You will need to be registered as an importer/exporter and you will need to make customs declarations. This will be expensive and bureaucratic for business,” he warned.

There will be checks on goods and live animals and, as far as possible, they will take place in ports, airports and at businesses.  But some may need to take place near the border.

Even if there is a deal the Taoiseach warned that discussions on a new free trade agreement and a new economic and security partnership will be “fraught” and protracted, lasting several years.

He said these discussions may make the Withdrawal Agreement negotiations “seem simple”.

“Europe and division on Europe will dominate British politics for many years to come. That won’t happen here, we will remain at he heart of Europe,” he said.

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Ceimin Burke

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