EU, Ireland to step up Brexit ‘no deal’ planning – European Commission

Ireland has agreed with the European Commission to step up preparations for Britain possibly leaving the EU without a deal to smooth its departure, a spokesman for the EU executive said on Friday. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar spoke late on Thursday. The spokesman, Margaritis Schinas, said that they had “looked forward to continuing close cooperation… including on intensifying no deal contingency action in the coming weeks.” In the event of a no deal, however, the EU has said Ireland will have to ensure customs controls on goods coming over the land frontier with the north, creating a problem for Dublin, since a hard border is seen as a threat to peace, Reuters reports.