Tuesday 17 September 2019

Government won't allow Ireland to be dragged out of EU because of Brexit - Simon Coveney

Tanaiste Simon Coveney REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
Tanaiste Simon Coveney REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The Government is not going to allow Ireland to be dragged out of the European Union Single Market by default as a result of Brexit, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has told reporters.

“That means in a no-deal scenario finding a way to get agreement with the European Commission to protect the integrity of a shared Single Market that protects Irish consumers and allows businesses to grow and expand,” Minister Coveney said.

The Government would face “difficult choices” in how it would introduce a customs checking system, which he said would be away from the border “for obvious reasons” that could protect both the integrity of the single market, and at the same time reassure other countries in the single market that Ireland does not have an “open back door into the single market though Northern Ireland.”

“These are difficult choices, we are working with the European Commission with the duel mandate one is to protect the peace process and minimise any security risk, secondly we do recognise the reality that our Government will have a responsibility to protect its own place in the single market and that will involve some checks, but we will try and do that in a way that limits the risks,” he said.

Minister Coveney added that the consequences of having to protect Ireland’s place in the single market without the backstop would result in some “very unpalatable” decisions having to be made.

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