Tuesday 17 September 2019

The Floating Voter: McEntee denies Government is 'in denial' over how to protect single market in no-deal scenario


European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A government minister has rejected the suggestion that Ireland is "in denial" over the reality of what a crash-out Brexit will mean for the Irish Border.

The 'Financial Times' reported a nervousness in Europe over a perceived reluctance to detail how the Government plans to protect the single market in the event of a hard Brexit.

A senior diplomat was quoted as saying: "Our friends in Ireland are still in a state of denial. We are not talking about building a wall, but we need to preserve the integrity of the single market."

However, European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee rejected the suggestion in an interview with the 'Floating Voter', Independent.ie's political podcast.

"We know how bad it would actually be if that is the case and that's not a denial.

"We know how hard and how difficult it would be to protect the invisible border but what that possibly means for the rest of the island, what that possibly means for certain industry and sectors," she said.

Pressed on solid proposals as to how to avoid a hard border in a no-deal scenario, she said: "The discussions with the Commission have started to increase more in terms of what that might look like.

"But there are no concrete proposals because we are not in that space yet," she said.

She said she always receives a message of support from colleagues across Europe on the Irish position.

Irish Independent

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