Chaos has hit the European Union just as the bloc prepares for its crucial trade talks with the UK over a Brexit deal, amid a suspected U-turn from Ireland. Ireland, which is going to the polls today to elect a new government, has sparked concerns among leaders in Brussels. Irish Times journalist Denis Staunton told Channel 4 News that whoever wins the election could ask Brussels to give the UK concessions, over fears of disruption to the Iritis economy.
He claimed that Ireland “won’t receive a warm welcome” in Brussels if it’s “looking for Britain to ease things for them”.
Ireland is one of Europe’s fastest growing economies and there is concern that a so-called “bare bones Brexit deal” could significantly disrupt Irish industry.
Staunton said: “There is still some hope in Dublin which is misplaced that Boris doesn’t mean his hardline approach.
“There is a belief that once the reality of the negotiations sinks in, he is going to compromise like he did over the backstop.”
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“But the reason we have the backstop is that the rest of the UK can diverge from the EU.
“I don’t think people in Dublin have digested the possible consequences of Boris Johnson’s Brexit.
“He will either go for a bare bones trade agreement, or he will go to a no deal WTO arrangement, which would be even more disruptive.
“The economic impact will be severe. Britain is still a key market, particularly for agriculture and so on.