Cabinet meets in Kerry to discuss Brexit contingency plans

It comes amid increasing instability in Westminster

Cabinet meets in Kerry to discuss Brexit contingency plans

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar responds to media questions in Phoenix Park, Dublin regarding reports that Theresa May is having difficulty with members of her Cabinet over the Brexit issue | Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Cabinet is meeting in Co Kerry on Wednesday to discuss Brexit contingency plans.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said preparations need to be stepped up for a no-deal Brexit.

The current political instability in Westminster has cast further doubt over what kind of Brexit deal will be hammered out.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone says there is not a clear message from British politicians on what deal they want.

"I think there's a lot of disagreement in terms of what especially the political leaders want - that's pretty clear".

But she adds: "It's really important just first of all to be prepared, no matter what.

"But of course secondly what's most important then is that however the deal is negotiated that we do maintain our commitments in relation to the Good Friday Agreement, and that the north and the south can continue to operate in a way that it has since that agreement".

Westminster turmoil

But Mr Varadkar has said at the moment, there is no need to panic - with British Prime Minister Theresa May winning a number of key votes related to Brexit.

A number of Government reports have warned the fallout for Ireland will be bad regardless of what the deal is.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney will outline contingency plans at the meeting.

It is being held at Derrynane House, the ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell - who was known as 'The Liberator' because of his quest for the rights of Irish people under English occupation.

Meanwhile, Mrs May is facing a day of questions in London about Brexit.

On three separate occasions she will face MPs, as rumours persist that some of her backbenchers are working to oust her.

And there could be more embarrassment as her former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is expected to deliver a resignation speech in the House of Commons.

While on Tuesday, Mrs May again narrowly avoided a significant defeat in Westminster.

A number of pro-European Conservative MPs had put forward an amendment for Britain to remain in a customs union if no trade agreement has been reached by next January 21st.

The amendment - considered a significant challenge to the government - was backed by Labour there.

However, the amendment was ultimately defeated by the government with 307 votes to 301 - a margin of only six votes.