Near Irish border, the Brexit drama is followed with alarm

A shop on Westminster Bridge in London Wednesday Nov. 14 2018. British Prime Minister Theresa May will try to persuade her divided Cabinet on Wednesday that they have a choice between backing a draft Brexit deal with the European Union or plunging the

"A United Kingdom wide solution that avoids a hard border and allows Northern Irish firms frictionless access to markets in Britain, Republic of Ireland, and the European Union offers our members the best chance of surviving in a post-Brexit world", he added. This agreement will mean minimum additional border controls or disruptions which will enable Ireland to remain competitive.

The Irish Government has maintained it would not countenance a hard border and was not making any preparations for it.

The draft European Union withdrawal agreement is the best option for the Northern Ireland agri-food sector and should be supported, the chairman of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association has said.

Mr Varadkar, who described the news of the cabinet backing the draft agreement as "one of the better days in politics", said he thought people had underestimated the "mettle and courage" of Theresa May.

Labour former minister Kate Hoey later added: "Outside this House when people read these hundreds of pages of eurospeak, they will realise that in any way we are being sold out, we've been sold out by our negotiators who have allowed the European Union to take the lead".

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"They would have to implement WTO rules so those hard Brexiteers who say that somehow just through political will you can avoid a hard border that doesn't make sense".

"Surely we have learned lessons from the past that that is not something that would ever be in the interests of people north and south on this island", Coveney told reporters at his Fine Gael party's annual conference.

And he said that if changes are made, the whole thing could unravel.

Varadkar said he did not see any scope for renegotiating it unless the British government delayed its exit beyond March 29, something it has repeatedly ruled out.

As a result of the uncertainty the Irish stock market dropped more than any other main exchange in Western Europe, with Ireland's economy most exposed to the fallout from a no deal Brexit.

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