Irish PM says European Union would insist on hard border without Brexit deal

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He added: "We must be clear on the fact that a no-deal outcome would be disastrous for Northern Ireland, particularly for the agri-food sector".

Varadkar comments come after May's draft Brexit deal with the European Union recieved support of senior ministers earlier this week, and it is to be finalised and submitted to Parliament.

She will tell this morning's meeting the agreement is good for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland; it prevents a hard border, upholds the Good Friday Agreement, and maintains the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK.

Brexiteers have achieved the opposite of what they campaigned for, says Maajid, after the draft Withdrawal Agreement sets out the possibility of creating a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has praised Theresa May for "honouring her promise" to avoid a hard border in Ireland post-Brexit.

"Also the United Kingdom having left the European Union would seek to join the World Trade Organisation".

Brexit meeting in Dublin
The Ulster Unionists and the DUP are not participating in the talks

"None of them solve the Irish border question".

"Surely we have learned lessons from the past that that is not something that would ever be in the interests of people north and south on this island", Coveney told reporters at his Fine Gael party's annual conference.

As a result of the uncertainty the Irish stock market dropped more than any other main exchange in Western Europe, with Ireland's economy most exposed to the fallout from a no deal Brexit.

He said if it looked as though Britain were heading towards a no-deal departure from the European Union then direct discussions on how to avoid a hard border would be required.

Varadkar said he did not see any scope for renegotiating it unless the British government delayed its exit beyond March 29, something it has repeatedly ruled out.

And while there is widespread opposition to May's Brexit withdrawal deal now, that could ease "as reality kicks in, as the precipice approaches", Varadkar said. "I think in a no-deal scenario it would be very hard to avoid a hard border".

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