Irish Stance on Backstop Won't Change Due to UK Parliament Suspension - Minister

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Boris Johnson looks on after a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G7 summit in Biarritz on Monday. NEIL HALL POOL AFP

Politicians in the Irish capital demanded an early return from their summer holidays to hold crisis talks.

In London on Tuesday, British opposition parties said they would try to pass a law which would force Johnson to seek a delay to Brexit and prevent a potentially chaotic no-deal exit on Oct 31.

Amid the no-deal fears, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce - a group focused on promoting trade between Ireland and the United Kingdom - says the Government should use the "larger than expected" corporate tax intake to "shore-up indigenous businesses" likely to be impacted by such an outcome.

Mr Coveney said: "A no deal would not be our choice, it will not be France's choice and it will not be the EU's choice it will be the choice of the UK Government and the British Parliament collectively if they choose to allow it or indeed to deliberately trigger it no amount political grandstanding or attempts to shift the blame can change this fact. The events of today inject even more uncertainty to what could happen in the run up to October 31".

But British lawmakers have rejected the Withdrawal Agreement three times with Brexiteer MPs blaming the backstop, which they argue would split up the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland would remain in the EU's customs union.

The EU has ruled out ditching the backstop unless Johnson comes up with what it considers workable alternatives.

"Let's not pretend that solutions exist when they might not", Coveney said on Tuesday, adding, however: "Our message is simple: We want to work this out".

A damning new report, however, has warned that the majority of businesses that trade across the Irish border are completely unprepared for a no-deal Brexit scenario. That's very much a matter for them.

Some in the corridors of power believe that it shows the Prime Minister is intent on delivering a Brexit deal.

The BICC said the €1bn should be combined with a series of other initiatives including customs vouchers and training for companies dealing with customs for the first time and temporary exemptions from European Union state aid rules to enable government support for Brexit impact companies.

David Frost, the Prime Minister's chief negotiator, briefed European Union officials on the plans today.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, insisted the bloc is still ready to consider British proposals that are "compatible with the withdrawal agreement".

"We understand the need to protect the integrity of the single market", Barclay said.

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