Brexit: Ireland warns of too much no-deal ′bravado′ | News | DW | 25.07.2018
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Brexit: Ireland warns of too much no-deal 'bravado'

Ireland has indicated it would be prepared to allow Brexit negotiations to continue beyond the March 2019 deadline. Germany's top diplomat Heiko Maas, however, has once again stressed that time is of the essence.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called out British euroskeptic lawmakers on Wednesday, warning against too much "bravado" over a potential no-deal scenario following Brexit.

Coveney said that politicians and parts of the British media were "talking up, inappropriately, the possibility of a no-deal Brexit," although he added that such an outcome was unlikely.

"Clearly, for Ireland, a no deal Brexit is very bad news. Clearly, for Britain, a no deal Brexit is very bad news too," he told the BBC.

The Republic of Ireland is considered a key player in the Brexit negotiations, given that it shares a land border with Northern Ireland and that the UK accounts for almost 25 percent of all Irish imports and 13 percent of exports.

Watch video 02:45

Coveney: Brexit a tragedy for UK, EU and Ireland

Coveney reiterates calls to extend Brexit deadline, if necessary

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday that he was open to a possible extension of the 

March deadline for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Read more: Britain's overseas territories brace for Brexit

Adriano Bosoni, Senior Europe Analyst at Stratfor, told DW that Article 50 negotiations could be extended provided the EU member states support their continuation.

"It could be another year; it could be another two years. The treaties do not specify the length of the extension; they only say that if there is unanimity and the 27 members vote for it, there could be an extension," Bosoni said. "I do not rule this out because this is such a chaotic situation and nobody really knows what's going to happen."

Watch video 06:34

New troubles in Northern Ireland due to Brexit

Germany's Heiko Maas: Time is of the essence for Westminster

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, however, appeared to rule out the chance of a Brexit extension on Wednesday, maintaining that Britain was still under immense pressure to strike a deal with the EU before October.

The UK must move swiftly "so that the withdrawal is as regulated as possible," Maas told Germany's Funke-Mediengruppe newspapers. "It's not five minutes to midnight; it's already two to midnight."

Germany's top diplomat also stressed that the EU must remain an "undivided domestic market, from which the British can't be allowed to cherry pick."

Article 50 of the European treaties allows for a two-year widow for a member state to leave the bloc. The deadline for the UK's exit is currently March 29, 2019, although Brussels has insisted that negotiations must be concluded by October so that the final deal can be ratified by the 27 individual member states in time.

Read more: 'Miracles' needed to advance Brexit talks by October deadline

Watch video 01:35

Brexit's impact on the German economy

UK unveils Brexit toolkit for EU citizens

The UK Home Office on Wednesday launched what it dubs a "toolkit" offering advice to companies employing EU citizens who wish to remain in the country after Brexit.

The toolkit reportedly comes with leaflets, posters and a briefing pack designed to "help employers across the UK communicate clear and consistent messages about the EU Settlement Scheme", the government explained.

"The toolkit will help us to reach out to all EU citizens living in this country and help them get their new immigration status," Home Secretary Sajid Javid said. "Our settlement scheme will offer security and certainty to EU citizens living in the UK."

Britain's new settlement scheme for EU citizens will be phased in later this year before fully launching by the end of next March. The deadline for settlement applications is June 30, 2021

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dm/rt (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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