Gov approach to Brexit needs to be less wait-and-see and more strategic

20 December 2018

Labour Party Leader, Brendan Howlin TD, has reacted to the Government’s contingency plan for the UK leaving the EU on 29th March with no agreement.

Deputy Howlin said:

“The Government has at last published its Brexit contingency plan, 100 days before the UK could well leave the EU with no deal.

“While it is clear that Departments and officials have been engaged in a range of activity and the Government has begun to implement measures to mitigate a no deal scenario, the Government is doing too little, too late.

“The notion that there is time to ‘upgrade and improve’ IT systems in Revenue and Agriculture in just 100 days flies in the face of recent experience. These systems will need to be fully operational, tested and robust by end-March, not newly installed at the last minute.

“Similarly, recruitment of new staff – while underway in Revenue – will be needed in other areas too, and cannot be done overnight.

“The proposed developments for Rosslare Europort are wholly inadequate. Minimum enhancements to inspect more lorries shows a lack of long-term or strategic thinking about enhancing our national capacity to ship goods from Ireland to France. We need road upgrades, rail improvements and improved management of the port as recommended by the independent Indecon report.

“The Government will seek to pass 19 laws through the Dáil in three months. Other parliamentary business will be pushed aside for that. While no deal Brexit would be a national emergency, a properly organised government would have advanced this legislation over the last 30 months since the Brexit referendum result was known and not left it all for the last 3 months. The Government’s track record on getting legislation through the Oireachtas has been slow and inefficient. This last minute rush puts the national economy at risk, even though the Government has had ample time to legislate before now.

“The Government’s approach was been one of wait-and-see rather than a strategic approach to invest in Ireland’s long-term future.”

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