Irish Deputy PM says United Kingdom can't afford a no-deal Brexit

Hannah Rogers
July 25, 2018

"Now at least we have a White Paper where there's a clear British government position and the negotiation between the European Union and the United Kingdom really starts now in earnest", he added.

According to an explanatory statement, the clause will help guarantee that "patients continue to have access to high-quality, effective and safe pharmaceutical and medical products".

And he said it was "useful" that European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier had raised questions about the prime minister's blueprint for the UK's future trading relationship with the EU.

This was followed by the publication of the government's latest White Paper on Brexit, in early July.

The public believes that Boris Johnson - the former foreign secretary who quit a fortnight ago - is better placed to lead his party and negotiations with Brussels with time running out on securing a deal, according to the YouGov poll. This is because the payments are tied to Britain's two-year transition agreement with the EU.

In his first bilateral meeting in his new role, with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Mr Hunt said: "Britain would find that challenging, but in the end we would find a way not just to survive but to thrive economically".

Later on Sunday, speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, he did not deny claims the government's plans for a "no-deal" Brexit included turning parts of the M26 in Kent into a lorry park.

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The EU has tentatively welcomed what has become known as the Chequers plan, but also says the proposals for a free trade areas with the bloc on goods raises "more questions than answers" and has stepped up its warnings of a "no deal" outcome.

Britain's negotiating team will be in Brussels Wednesday to discuss the future relationship, the border issue between Northern Ireland and Ireland and remaining issues on the withdrawal agreement.

Yesterday new Brexit secretary Dominic Raab confirmed plans would be put in place for food to be stockpiled, while health secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS was preparing to stockpile medicines and blood products.

"We are making sure both in the allocation of money - £3bn extra allocated last Budget - and through operational things like hiring extra border staff...that we are ready for any and every eventuality".

Asked if Britain was stockpiling food, Raab said Tuesday: "It would be wrong to describe it as the government doing stockpiling".

Elsewhere, Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness, a Vice-President of the European Parliament, has hit out at May in the wake of her Irish border visit last week.

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