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Delays likely at ports following no-deal Brexit, warns Irish Premier

By Michael McHugh, Press Association

Delays are likely at ports following a no-deal Brexit, the Irish premier has said.

Ireland is involved in sensitive discussions with its European partners about what happens if the UK crashes out of the bloc.

Mr Varadkar said the Republic is ready for the withdrawal, with 700 extra officials employed and temporary structures at Dublin Airport and Dublin and Rosslare sea ports.

He told RTE Radio 1's Today With Sean O'Rourke show: "I cannot see there not being delays. This is a big change.

"Will there be delays at Dover and Calais? Absolutely.

"Will there be potential delays at Dublin and Rosslare? Yes. I think it will be the same, but it will work."

The EU has given the UK an Article 50 extension until the end of October.

Mr Varadkar said if there was no transitional agreement then customs and tariffs declarations could be made online and checks conducted at business level.

The Republic is proposing that the island of Ireland be treated as a single unit for the purpose of checks at ports.

The Taoiseach said the country's next budget would focus on the challenges posed by Brexit.

Mr Varadkar said he wanted to hear from the next British prime minister to discuss detailed plans.

He reiterated his support for the Irish border backstop, the insurance policy designed to keep Northern Ireland in line with Irish regulation.

It is intended to prevent the imposition of checks on goods crossing the frontier if no wider trade deal is struck.

The issue is a red line for the DUP because the unionist party believes that could threaten the integrity of the UK if it created divergence between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson has said he wants to scrap the backstop.

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