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'More risk now of disorderly Brexit': Government regrets outcome of UK vote

The Government has said that huge defeat of the Withdrawal Agreement in Westminster now "increases the risk of a disorderly Brexit".

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers tonight said the Government "regrets" the outcome of the vote in Westminster and that the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement adds "uncertainty" to Brexit.

After the humiliating defeat for British prime minister Theresa May and her proposals for a soft Brexit, the Government insisted it would continue planning for a no-deal.

In a statement, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers urged Ms May and Britain to set out how the way forward.

"We will then consider what next steps to take in consultation with our EU partners," the statement read.

But the significant defeat of the deal now increases the concern that Britain may indeed crash out of the EU. The government statement added: "Regrettably, the outcome of tonight’s vote increases the risk of a disorderly Brexit. Consequently, the Government will continue to intensify preparations for such an outcome."

Ms May now must consider whether to seek fresh assurances from the EU on her deal as she also faces a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons.

Nonetheless, the Government here has not given up hope. And amid contingency plans for transport, the supply of medicines and proposals for emergency legislation, it is expected that negotiations will continue between Ms May and the EU in the coming weeks.

The government statement added: "The Irish Government recognises, however, that a disorderly Brexit is a bad outcome for everyone, not least in Northern Ireland. It is not too late to avoid this outcome and we call on the UK to set out how it proposes to resolve this impasse as a matter of urgency."

Leo Varadkar and Theresa May pictured together at Downing Street last summer.