Irish deputy PM warns no-deal Brexit will 'devastate' Northern Ireland economy

PUBLISHED: 09:43 21 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:21 22 July 2019

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney speaks to the media on College Green in Westminster, London

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney speaks to the media on College Green in Westminster, London

PA Wire/PA Images

Ireland's deputy prime minister has warned that a no-deal Brexit will "devastate" the Northern Irish economy.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

Simon Coveney, who also serves as Irish foreign minister, said in a newspaper column that Dublin's priority since the Brexit referendum had been maintaining peace on the island.

He also noted Brexit was a sovereign matter for Britain, as was Ireland's decision to remain in the bloc.

"Nevertheless, if Britain decides to leave without a deal it would cause huge damage to us all," Coveney wrote in The Sunday Times.

Leaving Brussels without a deal would hit Northern Ireland particularly hard, he added.

"A no-deal Brexit will devastate the Northern Irish economy with tariffs and rules that will fundamentally disrupt the all-island economy upon which so much progress has been built."

You may also want to watch:

Britain's prime minister after Wednesday would need to understand that the backstop aspect of Brext was agreed to protect the Good Friday Agreement, Coveney said.

"The Withdrawal Agreement is a balanced document that deals with the interests of all parties and is not something that is up for renegotiation."

In May, Irish premier Leo Varadkar and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met in Dublin and shared their "serious concerns" about a no-deal Brexit scenario and its "inherent dangers".

A spokesman for Varadkar said the pair "considered Brexit, with both sides sharing serious concerns about a no-deal scenario and its inherent dangers, including the possibility that the UK may end up in a no-deal situation by default unless alternatives are pursued".

Last month, members of the Westminster Foreign Affairs Committee were warned of the danger to Northern Ireland of a no-deal Brexit - including the potential for further violence - during a meeting with local groups and political representatives in Armagh.

Earlier this month Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald urged the Irish government to start preparing for a border poll as the risk of a disorderly Brexit increased.

McDonald said a referendum on Irish unity could happen "very quickly" if the UK crashed out of the EU at the end of October.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.