Deputy Burton raised a valid question about the position that always applied in the case of the EU Presidency, and the troika that was lined up with the incumbent, the previous holder and the state due to hold it. In the first half of 2013, when we held the Presidency, there was a massive response from the public service to deal with that in very difficult circumstances and to put together a budget of €960 billion. The position is that as Article 50 is due to be triggered in a short while we will ensure we get whatever extra staff that will be required. At present, the European affairs section has the necessary skills for dealing with this. The officials who work there have experience and expertise in European and foreign affairs, bolstered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, who attends the General Affairs Council, GAC, on a regular basis, in terms of knowing what is happening in this regard. With regard to academic qualifications, a number of that team have graduate and postgraduate qualifications in areas that are of direct relevance to this work, such as a master's degree in European interdisciplinary studies from the College of Europe, a master's degree in human rights and democratisation, a master's degree in economic policy studies and a BA in European studies. In respect of international relations, a number of the team have graduate and postgraduate qualifications in areas that are of direct relevance. These include a degree in international development and food policy, a PhD in political science, a master's degree in economic science in policy analysis and degrees in economics, history and politics, which include modules on international relations.
In respect of data protection, which is such a big issue at present, there is significant experience of working on projects in economic and enterprise development, European affairs and social policy both within the Department and with other public and private sector organisations. The members of the team have developed a strong understanding and knowledge of data protection related issues through a combination of on-the-job learning, attending a wide range of seminars and so forth. In terms of academic qualifications, team members have graduate and postgraduate qualifications in areas of direct relevance, such as a master's degree in European economic and public affairs, a diploma in applied European law and a doctorate in governance.
The corporate affairs division is responsible for finance, ICT, human resources and corporate governance. Their qualifications include third level qualifications such as MSc in computer science, MBS in change management and organisational studies, postgraduate diploma in public management, BComm specialising in human resources and diploma in human resource management, as well as accounting technician and financial management qualifications. These staff continue to develop their skills by engaging in online research.
Once Article 50 is triggered, if we need extra specialist staff we will get them. We will keep Members informed. As I said, Deputy Howlin and Deputy Martin have been given briefings and reports have been produced online. When Article 50 is triggered the Government will respond, through all the background work that has been done, to the detail of what will be contained in the letter from the Prime Minister.