Planning for a no-deal Brexit has been made a top priority by the Cabinet, after a meeting last night at Government Buildings. 

Ministers are to institute a full review of all preparations within their departments and relevant agencies, amid what is described as "the increasing risk of a no-deal Brexit."

The Cabinet was briefed on the state of play in the Brexit talks between the UK and the EU, and then reviewed its own plans for a no-deal.

Ministers decided that planning for that worst possible outcome is now to receive the top priority across all of government.

Ministers will review their departments, emergency crisis management will be stress tested and information campaigns will be ramped-up.

In a sobering observation, a Government statement noted that despite "preparations and mitigation measures" a no-deal "...risks potentially severe impacts in a number of areas."

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is to bring a memo to Cabinet in the next two to three weeks on how the upcoming Budget can ameliorate some of those impacts.

However, Opposition parties will argue that far more information needs to be forthcoming from the Government on what precisely is going to happen at and around the border if a no-deal Brexit becomes a reality.


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Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty has said it is clear that Westminster does not want a hard Brexit.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Doherty said the Government is hopeful a deal can be reached, and that it has been doing all it can to allow the UK to leave without the "seismic catastrophic effects" that a no-deal would have.

She said a new campaign is being launched today to encourage people to prepare for no-deal scenario.

"In the next number of weeks we will lay out what it will look like in the event of a no-deal and what contingency plans are there.

"We want to start talking about what a no-deal will look like, but we don't want it to sound like we've already accepted that there will be a no-deal. We have 57 days to go".

The risk of a no-deal is so significant, she said, that we have no choice but to react with an emergency response.