Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has urged businesses to step up their contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit and utilise the supports that are available as as "time is now short".

He was speaking during the debate on the Omnibus Bill which seeks to prepare the country for a no-deal Brexit.

"Brexit of any kind means, means changes for the worst for Ireland and no country can be fully prepared for no-deal. It's unchartered territory.

"No country has ever left the EU before. However we are prepared as we can be for this unprecedented challenge and it is prudent that we should be." 

Earlier during the debate, the Minister for Education has said the UK Withdrawal Agreement has the capacity to provide economic, social and political stability.

The Omnibus Bill contains 15 parts, addressing primary legislative issues which require immediate attention in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Other issues will be addressed by Statutory Instruments.

Minister of State with responsibility for financial services and insurance, Michael D'Arcy, said the bill is "a prudent piece of legislation that I hope is never used but hope isn't a strategy that the Government of Ireland can rely upon."

He said the uncertainty over what type of Brexit there will be is impacting on businesses and their investment decisions.

Mr D'Arcy outlined the difficulties posed by Brexit to the insurance market given the level of cross-border insurance business.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin's deputy leader and finance spokesperson said that the bill has a "complete disregard to the impact on the regions".

"There is absolutely no impact assessment being done into how the regions will be impacted. We have heard from all of the experts that the South East and the North West will be most seriously impacted," he said.

Speaking about his own county, Mr Doherty said Donegal is not in a position to take any impact as a result of Brexit, as it has emerged today that the highest levels of poverty are in Donegal.

"The reality is that now Brexit is going to impact on Donegal above many other regions and above most other counties in the State," he said.


Dáil begins debating Omnibus no-deal Brexit legislation

Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin has criticised the Government for what he said was a delay in publishing the legislation.

He said the evidence shows that Ireland is not prepared for a no-deal Brexit scenario.

He said that despite the preparations, many businesses and companies will not be prepared for a no-deal scenario.

He told the Dáil that Ireland appears to be the last country in the EU to publish its Brexit legislation.

Mr Martin also said there has been conflicting statements from the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and from Minister for Transport on what will happen at the border.

He said the legislation was extremely late and there was no time for it to be properly reviewed by the Oireachtas, with 30 days to go until the legislation may have to come into force.

He said more detail needed to be made available about aid packages for different sectors and Fianna Fáil would facilitate proposals for extra Brexit related aid.

McGrath attacks 'self-righteous' Tánaiste

Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath has attacked his constituency colleague, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, claiming that he made ill-founded remarks about Mr McGrath.

He said the Tánaiste has "no need to be so precious and self-righteous."

Mr McGrath welcomed the Brexit Omnibus bill and added that he hopes that it will never need to be invoked.

He said that when you contrast the manner in which the Irish political system has dealt with Brexit, it is in sharp contrast with what is playing out on our screens every day in Westminister.

He said that he "should continue to deal with Brexit in a manner that seeks to build consensus, that puts the national interest first and not any narrow party political interests."

He said that it was for that Fianna Fáil is seeing this process through and that they would not thrust the country into a general election at a time when issues of such fundamental importance for our citizens are in a state of flux."

Mr McGrath took issue with the Tánaiste Simon Coveney for criticising him on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O'Rourke programme for comments he made about the Revenue Commissioners' preparedness for Brexit.

Mr McGrath said he outlined the facts while the Tánaiste claimed he was ill-informed.

But Mr McGrath cited Revenue chairperson Niall Cody telling an Oireachtas committee that they would need an additional 600 staff as soon as possible.

He said that the Tánaiste made "ill-founded and completely necessary comments" about him and "there is no need to be so precious and self-righteous and be of the view that you cannot be questioned or challenged."