Taoiseach needs to produce Brexit legislation this week

17 December 2018

Leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD responded to a report that the Taoiseach intends to pass 45 pieces of legislation next year in advance of Brexit.

Deputy Howlin said:

“I have been asking the Taoiseach for months to publish the details of all of the legislation that will be necessary in preparation for Brexit so that it can be scrutinized and considered by TDs and Senators in advance.

“I understand that the Cabinet has received a briefing on what will be required but the Taoiseach has claimed some details are confidential. That may be so, but the majority of the Bills should not be sensitive, and the Government should have published the draft heads of Bills months ago.

“There are only 29 scheduled sitting days of Dáil Éireann from the return in January to March 29th when the UK will leave the EU. Much as we would love to see a change of heart on the UK side, we cannot risk a situation where Ireland is not fully prepared for the UK to actually leave the EU on 29th March. It is hard to see how 45 Bills can be passed with proper debate and scrutiny, alongside all of the normal business of Government.

“If the Government plans on ramming through a raft of emergency legislation without proper scrutiny, that will spell the end of ‘new politics’ in the Oireachtas. While Fianna Fáil have offered to extend confidence and supply, have they also signed up to restoring the guillotine procedure that allows the time to examine legislation to be cut short?

“The Taoiseach needs to account to the Dáil this week on how he has allowed this last minute rush to occur. The stability of the Irish economy is on the line, and it now appears that the Government has failed to allow enough time for the necessary Brexit legislation to be scrutinized.”

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