Leo Varadkar’s government is becoming increasingly nervous as warnings intensify about a no-deal Brexit, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Mr Varadkar himself told his MPs on Wednesday there was no “viable position” other than to hold firm on the backstop. EU officials are clear that the bloc will not shift stance on the issue without Ireland’s consent — and that it will not put pressure on Mr Varadkar.
The Taoiseach's dilemma is over what happens if there is no compromise and the UK crashes out without a deal.
About 70% of respondents in a Sunday Business Post poll said Dublin should simply refuse to reinstate checks. Such an approach could avoid increasing the economic pain of Brexit and inflaming sectarian tensions.
According to the Financial Times, there is concern in Dublin that any border customs officials would be open to attack by dissident republican paramilitaries. Irish officials and politicians are worried that any attack would prompt a security build-up, raising the risk of yet more attacks and then reprisals.
The report quotes former Irish minister for Europe, Lucinda Creighton, as saying, "The appalling prospect is that the government finds itself in a month’s time or six weeks staring down the barrel of a gun, being faced with a chaotic, disorderly, economically catastrophic and politically explosive hard Brexit."