Leaked British government papers that outline the effect of a no-deal Brexit show the need for an orderly withdrawal by the UK from the EU, Government sources have said.
The documents, published by the Sunday Times, warn of a hard Irish border, a three-month “meltdown” at ports and shortages of food and medicine if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
However, UK minister Michael Gove, in charge of co-ordinating no-deal preparations, played down the documents, saying they set out a worst-case scenario and that planning had been accelerated in the last three weeks.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is expected to speak to British prime minister Boris Johnson – who has promised the UK will leave the EU, deal or no deal, by October 31st – this week.
Mr Johnson is demanding that the backstop, the insurance policy to avoid a hard border, is abolished in order for there to be an orderly UK exit. He will also meet French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel in the coming days.
The EU and Irish Government have consistently said the Brexit withdrawal agreement, which contains the backstop, will not be renegotiated.