Ireland and the European Commission are intensifying planning for a no Brexit deal contingency. Both sides are stepping up preparations for the United Kingdom possibly leaving the EU without a deal that would guide its withdrawal. EU Commission’s spokeswoman Margaritis Schinas said that they had “looked forward to continuing close cooperation … including on intensifying no deal contingency action in the coming weeks,” referring to the meeting of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
The issue of a customs border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland following Brexit is one of the reasons why the British Parliament refused to ratify a divorce deal agreed by Prime Minister Theresa May. In case no deal is struck, the EU will have to ensure customs controls on goods coming over the land frontier with the north, creating a problem for Ireland, since a hard border is seen as a potential threat to peace. EU leadership insists that Ireland is not pressured to soften its position. Ms. Schinas also noted that “President Juncker once again emphasized our full solidarity with Ireland.”
In the meantime, Queen Elizabeth called for a respectful debate in her country. The Queen sent a message to what is perceived as remarks to politicians on Brexit. When speaking to the local Women’s Institute in Norfolk, she said that every generation was facing its unique challenges. “As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture,” the 92-year old monarch said.