Pat Leahy: No-deal Brexit is still unlikely, but not impossible

Varadkar may have to decide whether to dig his heels in on backstop or fight again

Whatever Theresa May offers on the Border – fresh proposals are expected on the backstop in early October – it is unlikely to meet all of Leo Varadkar’s requirements.  Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

Whatever Theresa May offers on the Border – fresh proposals are expected on the backstop in early October – it is unlikely to meet all of Leo Varadkar’s requirements. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

Brexit took a lurch for the worse in Salzburg, jolting the prospect of a no-deal scenario into the centre of everyone’s considerations.

The economic and political consequences of a no-deal Brexit are so severe for everyone (and for Ireland especially) as to make it unlikely. It’s not just the effects on trade and what that would mean in economic disruption. The political consequences of having failed to agree would poison the future triangular relationship between Ireland the UK and the EU for years. This is hardly unforeseeable, and will propel EU leaders towards compromise. But a no-deal is not impossible. Lots of bad things happen by accident.

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