Three hours before the historic landslide vote against British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement a trio of Irish ministers assembled in Government Buildings in Dublin.

"We do not want to do this," said Tánaiste Simon Coveney.

Flanked by Transport Minister Shane Ross and Health Minister Simon Harris, the Tánaiste lifted the lid off part of Ireland’s plans for a no deal Brexit.

Now those preparations will become far more urgent as Britain veers dangerously close to crashing out of the EU in a disorderly fashion causing havoc for Ireland.

The bullet point for the Irish Government is that chances of a hard Brexit have increased dramatically.

Both Remainers and Brexiteers voted down the Withdrawal Agreement in large numbers.

That makes the possibility of an orderly exit by Britain from the European Union more distant and the path ahead has become more obscure.

For Irish businesses and particularly exporters they will now have to move away from adopting a "wait and see" approach to quickly preparing for the worst.

Many entrepreneurs have been reluctant to put resources into arrangements that they thought may never have to be put into use.

They have been relying on the State to say exactly what will happen and what they should do.

They have been asking the simply questions: Will there be tariffs? Will there be customs? Will there be a hard border?

Until now the Government has not announced its "no deal" Brexit plans. Instead, it was hoping that a Withdrawal Agreement would ultimately be approved.

Last night, Simon Coveney and his two colleagues announced details of four memos for preparations for a hard exit by the UK.

Those documents outlined some limited details for the transport sector, the common travel area, supply of medicines and changes to legislation. It showed the complexity of the task ahead.

Take the example of drugs.

The Government has assembled a watch line of 24 medicines that it is concerned could be affected by Brexit.

Minister for Health Simon Harris was at pains to point out that no drugs would be unavailable but he said medicines that are on the list include "radiotherapy products" and "intravenous foods". Both are essential to healthcare.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross tried to provide reassurance aviation won’t be affected, but did acknowledge that hauliers could face serious challenges.

As Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement has been sucked into the abyss of Westminster chaos, the leadership shown by Irish politicians has become far more important than ever before.

Last night’s vote in the British parliament was a landmark for all the wrong reasons.