DUP leader Arlene Foster has said that there will be no infrastructure at the Irish border after Brexit.

She was speaking after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that in the event of a no-deal Brexit there will be checks on goods and live animals, which he said would take place "as far as possible" in ports, airports and at businesses.

"But some may need to take place near the border," he said.

Today, Mrs Foster said that the British government has made it clear that it will not put infrastructure on the Irish border.

"To be fair to our own government, to the British government, when Theresa May was there and indeed our new Prime Minister, they have all made it clear they will not put infrastructure on the border, and I think that is very important to remember that.

"There will be a lot of speculation over the coming weeks, I have no doubt about that, there has been a lot of speculation up until now. But what we need to do is to look at the facts, the facts are the government has said very clearly they will not be putting infrastructure at the border."

Earlier, Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee has said that the Government is still working with the European Commission to determine how to configure border controls and customs checks in the event of a disorderly Brexit.

Ms McEntee said it hoped most of these checks can take place away from the border, in businesses, at ports or at airports.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, she said that the Government cannot allow checks to happen on the border.

Minister McEntee said protecting the Good Friday Agreement is paramount and Ireland is working to maintain an invisible border and Government still wants to hear from the UK about any alternative arrangements to the backstop.

She said the backstop not only removes the threat of a border but also protects the all-island economy and co-operation north and south.

Minister McEntee later added that the Government hopes to be as clear as it can in the coming weeks as to where checks will be in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

She said they want to let people know as soon as possible as we are just eight weeks away from the 31 October deadline, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that - deal or no deal - the UK is leaving.

She said people need to prepare in whatever way they can, adding that the Government is still hoping that they will have a deal.


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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy called on the Government to look at the issue of Irish unity as a means of mitigating against the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Carthy said that if necessary we must have the "constitutional conversations to ensure that we actually get rid of the border if that is the only way we can protect the Good Friday Agreement".

He said we cannot countenance "any hardening" of the border, adding, that the Government must oppose anything that makes it more difficult for businesses to operate on an all-island basis.

He also called for a financial package to be agreed at an EU level that would protect regions and sectors that are going to be most affected by Brexit.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is in London to meet British Cabinet ministers.

He was due to speak to Michael Gove and Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, as well as Labour's Brexit spokesperson Keir Starmer.

Last night, the Taoiseach said there was a "significant and growing" risk of a no-deal Brexit.

This morning, Mr Varadkar tweeted about Charles Stewart Parnell, who was referenced by both Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage this week.

Increase in price for 'limited number' of grocery products

A "limited number" of grocery products will increase in price quite substantially in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a group which, represents Irish retailers.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Thomas Burke of Retail Ireland said that retailers may not be able to absorb those cost increases.

However, he said that retailers have been working to establish which products are most at risk and to source alternatives.

His comments come after the Taoiseach said last night that food will remain on shelves after a no-deal Brexit, although possibly not all the same brands.

In terms of which products will be most affected by a no-deal Brexit, he said the WTO tariffs list provides hints.

"I think we need to look at the WTO tariffs list to get a sense of where the challenge may lie. I think we know from looking at that it is grocery products that are most exposed - it is cereals, it is bakery products, it is biscuits, it is products of that nature."

He also said that a lot of fruit and vegetables that arrive in Ireland via the landbridge route are not going to be subject to tariffs, but there are concerns about potential delays at ports in Dover and Dublin.

Mr Burke added that there are also challenges for retailers who operate on an all-island basis.