Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has dismissed British newspaper reports of financial 'sweeteners' that could be offered to Dublin in the event of a no-deal Brexit, saying: "This isn't about money."

The UK has said it has put forward "fair and reasonable proposals" for a Brexit deal that "is in the interests of all sides".

RTÉ News asked for a response to a report in today's The Times newspaper that claimed Michael Gove's no-deal Brexit committee has drawn up a list of Irish issues to be used as "leverage" if talks aimed at securing a deal break down.

A UK government spokesperson said today: "We want a deal, and the EU, including Ireland, have been clear they want that too. We have put forward fair and reasonable proposals and we want to talk at pace about this so we can agree a new deal which is in the interests of all sides."

However speaking in Cork today, Mr Coveney: "There's nothing new here for us. We've been talking about the downside of a no-deal Brexit for many, many months.

"If a no-deal Brexit were to happen, it'll be a lose, lose, lose for everybody - for the UK, for Ireland, for the EU.

"And that's why we're so focused on trying to resolve differences and trying to get a Brexit deal agreed so that we can move on to the next stage of Brexit in a controlled and managed way and avoid an awful lot of the disruption that will undoubtedly flow from a no-deal."

The newspaper reported that the UK committee has put together a list of issues that would affect the Republic of Ireland if there is a no-deal Brexit.

These include: medicines; lengthy delays at Holyhead due to customs checks; the potential loss of fishing rights off the coast of Northern Ireland; disruption to transport of horses between Ireland and the UK.

The report also suggested that there are "sweeteners" that could be offered to Dublin including paying for any infrastructure needed to enforce customs checks on the island of Ireland.

"When asked about financial sweeteners, Mr Coveney said: "This isn't about money. If people still think it is well then they're really not plugged into the Irish mindset or to the history of this island.

"This is not about money or sweeteners or being paid off or anything like that.


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"We are trying to ensure that there is no prospect of the imposition of future border infrastructure on this island between north and south, because of the corrosive impact on relationships and politics that that would have by fundamentally disrupting the all-island economy which in many ways has been the reinforcer of peace and normality on this island for the last 21 years," he said.

Mr Coveney added: "I think a no-deal is particularly difficult for Northern Ireland but it's challenging for the Republic of Ireland too and certainly for the UK as a whole.

"Our focus, this week in particular, because it's really coming to a head now, is to work with Michel Barnier's task force and obviously work with our counterparts in the UK to see if we can find a way forward

"We made it very clear last week that Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson's proposals were a step in the right direction but particularly on customs, there's a need I think for further developments of that proposal in order to get a deal done this week.

"We want to support that and I'll probably be in Brussels tomorrow evening to speak to Michel Barnier about that," said Mr Coveney.