Ireland urges people not to stockpile medicines ahead of Brexit


"There aren't any medicines that are on any kind of risk list in terms of not being supplied after the end of March, but we will continue to monitor that very closely to make sure there is no delay in supply", Coveney said.

The Times newspaper reported over the weekend that France and other European Union countries were ready to provide assurances over the Irish backstop, and that Macron had softened his position "to assist a last-ditch attempt by the European Union to help to get the withdrawal agreement across the line".

But he reiterated the EU's readiness to change the political declaration on future ties with Britain - which makes part of the Brexit package together with the legal divorce treaty - to include more assurances of clarifications on the backstop there.

Hunt argued that such a change to the contentious Irish backstop arrangements would help Prime Minister Theresa May's government to get the parliamentary support for the U.K.'s withdrawal agreement.

The Malthouse Compromise courts Brexit supporters with a pledge to ditch the unpopular backstop in favour of an alternative, and appeals to pro-EU Conservatives by pledging safeguards against the risk of disruption if no deal can be agreed with Brussels before March 29.

He continued: 'I don't think it's the mechanism that matters, it's the objective: if you can get to a place where the potential longevity of the backstop, the potential that the backstop lasts forever can be adequately dealt with, that's what we're all seeking to do. He and Mr Barclay are then due to return to Brussels at mid-week to present these proposals to Mr Barnier.

"A backstop with a set time limit isn't a backstop at all".

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Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood urged the Government to allow a free vote on ruling out a no-deal Brexit at the end of the month if Mrs May can not get her deal through the Commons.

Coveney said the European Union wanted to find ways to help United Kingdom parliamentary ratification of the Brexit deal but that the lawmakers' asks needed to be "reasonable".

Mrs May thinks she might be able to get a deal signed with European Union leaders in November past the British parliament if it is reworded.

"Yes, there is frustration in Ireland", Coveney said according to The Guardian.

"My job is to try to protect Irish interests and the Irish people through Brexit, which is not an Irish policy", he said after the ministerial meeting.

The MPs want to replace the current backstop proposal with a technology-based solution for managing the flow of people and goods across an invisible Irish border.