12 July 2019

Government publishes Contingency Action Plan Update

This week, the Government announced further steps in its ongoing Brexit contingency and preparedness work, recognising that there is now a significant risk of a no deal Brexit on 31 October. The Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update (published on Tuesday 9 July) reflects the extensive whole-of-Government and EU level work which has already taken place, as well as the additional work that will happen between now and 31 October.

The consequences of a no deal Brexit will be profound, including macroeconomic, trade and sectoral challenges. It will also have implications for trade on the island of Ireland, North and South cooperation and will pose risks for the Good Friday Agreement and political stability. It could have lasting societal impacts for Northern Ireland.

While the Government’s extensive preparedness and contingency efforts will help mitigate the negative effects of Brexit, a no deal Brexit will be highly disruptive. In such a scenario, it will be impossible for the UK to maintain the current seamless arrangements with the EU across the full range of sectors and this will have knock-on consequences for Ireland.

For the time between now and 31 October, the Action Plan emphasises the need for stepped up preparedness measures, by exposed businesses in particular. Citizens and businesses cannot assume that because a no deal Brexit was averted in March and April that the same will happen in October – the need for prudent preparations is more pressing than ever. Key areas for continued work will include preparing for Budget 2020, additional infrastructure for ports and airports, and a new phase of the Government’s Brexit communications including an intensified engagement programme by Revenue, focussed on individual businesses and including targeted letters and follow-up phone calls.

Speaking after Cabinet this week, the Tánaiste said:

“A no deal Brexit will have really stark and wide-ranging effects. All government departments and state agencies are working non-stop to prepare the country and limit the damage if Britain decides to leave the EU without agreement. In a no deal the EU and Ireland maintain twin objectives of no hard border and protecting the Single Market and Ireland’s place in it. However no deal will have devastating effects on the all island economy.”

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe stated:

“Ongoing work at Government level will include preparing for Budget 2020 and additional infrastructure for ports and airports. At each of the three locations – Dublin Port, Rosslare Europort and Dublin Airport – sufficient temporary facilities were in place at the end of March in the event that the UK had left with no-deal. Nevertheless, work will continue as required during the period of the Article 50 extension Government’s Brexit communications will intensify. Our Revenue engagement programme will increase their focus on individual businesses with targeted letters and follow-up phone calls.

It is only by Government, business and citizens working together nationally and with our EU partners that we can aim to mitigate as far as possible the impacts of a no deal Brexit, should that happen, and ensure that we are as prepared as we can be for the changes it will bring.”

Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee stated:

“With just 114 days out from the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and following the publication of the government’s Contingency Action Plan Update I am urging those who have not already engaged to do so as a no-deal outcome as it is a significant possibility.

The risks of a no-deal Brexit are extremely serious and will have a hugely negative impact on people’s lives across the country. It is important for people and businesses to take practical measures to avoid the worst effects of Brexit. To find out more information on what steps you can take to prepare for a no-deal Brexit make sure to visit www.gov.ie/Brexit.”

Also this week:
• Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urged SMEs to engage with Brexit planning in his speech to the SME & Entrepreneurship Strategy conference.
• Tánaiste Simon Coveney chaired a meeting of the Brexit Stakeholders Forum to discuss the Action Plan Update.
• Business, Enterprise & Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys hosted a Brexit information session in Monaghan. The event invited businesses to attend to learn what steps they could take to prepare for Brexit.

19th July 2019

Tánaiste Simon Coveney met today with EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels

Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee T.D. today welcomed French Minister for EU Affairs Amelie de Montchalin to the border of Northern Ireland.

Also this week:
• Revenue announced that over the course of the next eight weeks, it will undertake an intensified Brexit engagement programme with businesses who trade with the UK. See full statement here.

Don’t miss these Brexit preparedness related events happening next week…
Monaghan: Next Tuesday the 23rd, the Local Enterprise Office hosts a Workshop around Customs Export & Import Procedures. Find out more here
Donegal: Next Thursday the 25th, the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovations hosts an information session on the practical steps you and your business need to take now. More information available here.

26th July 2019

Events around the country continued this week in efforts to Get Ireland Brexit Ready
• In Monaghan on Tuesday the Local Enterprise Office delivered Customs Export & Import Procedures Workshops, providing invaluable support and advice to businesses who will be impacted when the UK leaves the EU.
• On Thursday the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation hosted a Brexit Information Event in Donegal, where information was on hand to advise the practical steps needed to be taken now to prepare ahead of October 31st.
• The Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government convened a meeting in Customs House on Tuesday with a wide variety of stakeholders to the Construction Industry. This meeting provided a hugely beneficial forum for discussion around the implications and necessary preparations for Brexit and the cooperation between agencies in taking these steps.
To find out more about future Brexit events, visit our website here.

Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphries T.D. speaking at the Brexit Information Event in Donegal on Thursday.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney spoke on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday

The Tánaiste reiterated Ireland’s position on Brexit, his commitment to the people of Northern Ireland, and the responsibility of the British government to prevent a no-deal scenario on October 31st.

Also this week:
• An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar & Tánaiste Simon Coveney congratulated Boris Johnson on his election as leader of the Conservative Party and welcomed constructive, early engagement with the new Prime Minister of the UK on Brexit and continued efforts to strengthen bilateral relations.
• Tánaiste Simon Coveney met newly appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, in Belfast today where the importance of bilateral relations, honouring the Good Friday Agreement, and the restoration of power-sharing in Stormont was emphasised.

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