Merkel enters Brexit fray, as European Union seeks shield from United Kingdom turmoil

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Demonstrators set up a mock checkpoint in Carrickcarnon, Louth, which was manned by protesters dressed as customs officers and carrying anti-Brexit placards and European Union flags.

"My commute which is currently an hour is now going to involve three border crossings each way - that's six border crossings every day", environmental scientist and border resident Patricia McGenity, said at the protest, organised by "Border communities against Brexit".

Asked if a second referendum might be possible, Juncker said that was an issue exclusively for the British people.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will meet French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week and the leaders of the EU's two remaining superpowers are expected to seek assurances on protecting the integrity of the single market.

After trying to remain above the Brexit fray since negotiations between the United Kingdom and European Union began nearly two years ago, Merkel is becoming much more active, as the threat of no-deal looms.

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In a serious blow for May, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced on Wednesday (27 March) it would not support her deal.

McDonald said: "We are at a very unsafe moment where we inch ever closer to the real possibility of a crash and a chaotic Brexit".

Sinn Féin said it is to meet European Union leaders to insist that the treaty is not reopened.

But he said: "If we are arriving now in a more critical period of time. and if we are running into a more hard situation then we have together to assess what to do".

It would also see Northern Ireland adhere to European Union single market rules on goods - again to rule out the necessity for border regulatory checks.

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"We are facing a national crisis and an all-party approach to finding a way forward is now needed", he argued.

"The United Kingdom needs to urgently present an alternative plan in the next few days".

"Westminster has rejected for a third time the Withdrawal Agreement which includes minimum safeguards for Ireland, North and South".

One Westminster vote which came close to passing last week was a proposal that would see the United Kingdom stay in a customs union.

TUV leader Jim Allister said he welcomed "the further defeat of the Deal of Betrayal" and called for a no-deal Brexit.

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