Deputy Irish prime minister Simon Coveney was forced to admit Dublin is “in the eye of the storm” as the chances of a no-deal Brexit drastically increase. He insisted the withdrawal agreement won’t be renegotiated, but Dublin would still need to listen to Mr Johnson’s plans to avoid customs checks on the border. Dublin has challenged the Prime Minister, who has said the backstop must be removed in order to strike a Brexit deal, to produce a series of proposals within the next 30 days.
Mr Coveney said: “The British Government has said it wants to look at alternative arrangements that can do the same job as the backstop and, of course, we will listen to take and I think other European countries will do so too because we all want to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
“But I think the messaging is clear, it’s consistent and its been firm from the EU that the deals have been put together through many, many hours and days and weeks and months of negotiation are going to be brushed aside now in an effort to get a deal.”
He went on to say Brexit was an “extraordinary disruptor” and EU member states will continue to refuse to throw Ireland under the bus.
“There are commitments that have been made that need to be followed through on,” he said.
“Ireland, unfortunately, is in the eye of the storm here because it’s issues on the island of Ireland that seem to be the source of disagreement at the moment.
“We’ll work to try to change that, but I do want to make it very clear that the withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation.”
Dublin and Brussels have since stepped up their preparations for a no-deal Brexit by preparing contingency measures to avoid customs checks on the border.
Irish officials want to implement checks at the “point of origin or destination, so the factories or ports” in order to prevent a hard border after Brexit.
Speaking alongside Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister yesterday said: “I want to be clear to you, Emmanuel, to the French people, that, of course, I want a deal and I think that we can get a deal and a good deal.
“I was powerfully encouraged by our conversations last night in Berlin with our mutual friends and I know that with energy and with creativity and with application we can find a way forward for our businesses and citizens.
“It is vital for trust in politics that if you have a referendum then you should act on the instructions of the voters and that is why we must come out of the EU on October 31, deal or no deal.”
He added: “Let’s get Brexit done, let’s get it done sensibly and pragmatically and in the interests of both sides and let’ not wait until October 31.
“Let’s get on now in deepening and intensifying the friendship and partnership between us.”
Mr Johnson will not travel to seaside resort of Biarritz tomorrow for the G7 summit of EU and world leaders.
The Prime Minister will on Sunday hold talks with Donald Tusk, the European Council’s president, to discuss Britain’s EU divorce.
He is also expected to hold face-to-face talks with US President Donald Trump, who is also attending the event.