Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has told the Cabinet that he had a lengthy conversation with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, yesterday.

He said Mr Barnier told him that while discussions with the UK are ongoing, no proposals have been put on the table.

Ministers were told that the risk of a no-deal Brexit remains significant and plans are being drawn up to deal with the opening days of such a scenario.

Mr Coveney is set to bring a memo to Cabinet in the coming weeks around the key question of what checks would take place away from the border in the event of no deal.

The Government is also to soon commence a citizen’s awareness campaign around Brexit.

This will seek to reassure people about things such the supply of medicines.

But it will also detail things that will change, including the non- recognition of some professional qualifications obtained in the UK.

People wishing to bring their pets to the UK may be unable to do so if there is a hard Brexit as current pet passports may not be accepted


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Meanwhile, the Tánaiste has said that while there has been no proposals tabled by the UK on replacing the backstop, he has had informal discussions with some British Ministers.

Simon Coveney said there have been conversations exploring concepts that might or might not work.

Speaking after today's Cabinet meeting the Tánaiste said he spoke with the Northern Secretary Julian Smith for over three hours at dinner last night.