Brexit plan proves Irish border issue was scaremongering - DUP

Nigel Farage reacts as he speaks with Italian Swedish MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt during a panel discussion at a conference on Brexit at the Saatchi in London yesterday

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Tanaiste Simon Coveney at a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin on Friday.

Ms Foster told RTÉ News that she remains hopeful that a deal can be struck on Brexit before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 29 March.

But DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said such a move would be contrary to European Union state aid rules, which prevent governments from assisting businesses through subsidies and grants.

That, he said, is "not reassuring to Irish farmers".

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"The EU was demanding Northern Ireland remain part of the customs union and regulatory regime to maintain the single market integrity yet this type of support for Irish business will undermine that regulatory regime", he said.

"This completely undermines the RoI case for the backstop and flies in the face of Brussel's rationale for the backstop".

The AA did, however, point out that "Brexit or no Brexit" motorists are supposed to swap a United Kingdom licence for an Irish one if they are resident in Ireland for more than 100 days. To manipulate people's fears in such a way was careless and reckless.

"This Government will not be found wanting in supporting and working with this sector through a very hard period, should a no-deal Brexit materialise", he said.

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Reacting to the publication of the Dublin government's package of laws that will be enacted in a no-deal scenario, Mr Wilson said: "One thing absent from the Republic of Ireland's no-deal Brexit legislation is any plan for border checkpoints or the sort of border infrastructure that some in Dublin and Brussels have been having nightmares about".

"Simply put, as a result of a lot of hard work my only desire is to see this legislation sit on the shelf".

The proposed laws - made up of 15 parts - cover a range of areas and focus on protecting Irish citizens' rights, supporting businesses and jobs, healthcare, transport, education and energy.

The mechanism, which would be triggered in the absence of a wider trade deal after the Brexit implementation period, would see the United Kingdom remain in the customs union and Northern Ireland additionally tied to EU single market rules on goods.

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The Bill will be debated in the Dail next week and then in committees the following week, before being debated in the Seanad.

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