Coveney plays down speculation of "no-deal" Brexit

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"Without a real change of approach from the European Union negotiators we do now face a real risk of no deal by accident".

The Foreign Secretary used a visit to Berlin to say that while a failure to achieve a Brexit deal would be "challenging" for the United Kingdom, it would "thrive" in the long term.

This follows Cabinet Office minister David Lidington's trip to Paris and Jeremy Hunt's trip to Berlin this week.

"And I have asked the department to work up options for stockpiling by industry".

A DExEU spokesman told CSW that the staff transfers would amount to between 40-50 in each direction.

The Independent newspaper's political sketch writer headed a commentary: "Theresa May has taken control of the Brexit negotiations".

The former health secretary said: "I will... be clear that our European partners must show much more flexibility and creativity in negotiations if we are to avoid a "no deal by accident" scenario".

This would address what he called "some of the tensions that were widely reported" in the previous structure of the government's Brexit officials, Raab said.

Meanwhile the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, warned remaining member states and businesses to "step up preparations" for no deal.

Brexit campaigners say increased government warnings over what a no-deal Brexit could look like, including preparations to stockpile goods, represent an attempt to scare people into backing May's plans. "They will now be in one place".

Mr Varadkar was speaking from the Croatian capital, Zagreb where he held a bi-lateral meeting with the country's Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

"We need a Brexit deal which puts patients first but now we know that the NHS is having to stockpile medicines because of this government's chaotic handling of Brexit", he said in a statement.

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany wanted to see an orderly Brexit.

The announcement came just minutes before Mr Raab and Mr Robbins were due to give evidence to the Commons Brexit committee and appeared to be a major snub to the new Brexit secretary who is only in his second week of the job.

'They're wrong. No bluffing, ' he said.

He said the United Kingdom only produces about 25% of the fruit and vegetables it consumes and, while the winter season for imports from places like South America and New Zealand could be extended slightly to cover the UK's European Union departure, supermarkets would have to find new supply routes.

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