DUBLIN (Reuters) – Britain will leave the European Union in October without a divorce deal, an Irish government minister predicted, causing a severe economic shock that could require pan-EU financial support for countries including Ireland.
A person walks past an EU and a British flag in London, Britain, April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
The remarks, among the most frank yet from an Irish minister, underscore the growing sense of alarm about a hard Brexit in Ireland, Britain’s closest EU neighbour and one with whom it has important trading and historical ties.
“Some people in the UK have convinced themselves that no deal is a good thing and that there are no circumstances that the European Union would allow the UK to crash out,” Michael D’Arcy, the minister in charge of financial services, told Reuters.
“The European Union has…moved the (Brexit) date on a number of occasions. I don’t see any more flexibility. The deal will be done after the 31st of October,” he said, referring to a deal for Britain’s departure from the European Union.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he will take the United Kingdom out of the European Union on Oct. 31 come what may, even without a transitional deal needed to pave the way for future relations with the EU.
Wrenching the United Kingdom out of the bloc without a deal means there would be no formal arrangements to cover everything from post-Brexit pet passports to customs procedures on the Northern Irish border with Ireland.
Any reworking of a deal to meet Johnson’s demands would require the support of the Irish.
While Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday that he believed a no-deal outcome was still avoidable,