Thursday, 8 March 2018

Questions (55)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

55. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance if he is satisfied that Ireland's ability to withstand Brexit remains soundly based and that the necessary alternatives in terms of issues affecting economic performance are being pursued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11480/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My Department has been to the fore in producing and funding a number of Brexit-related studies, both before and since the UK's referendum decision, all of which are available on my Department's website. In addition, my Department’s macroeconomic forecasts have continued to take account of the impact of Brexit.

While all available research has indicated that the potential impact of Brexit on the Irish economy will be significant and negative under all scenarios, with output below what it otherwise would have been in a no Brexit scenario, it is important to note that the economy will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace than it otherwise would have.  It should also be noted that all of these research studies are conducted on a “no policy change basis”, in other words they do not account for efforts that the Government has made, and will continue to make, to prepare the economy for Brexit.

Indeed, the best way and most immediate policy under the Government's control to counter the likely negative economic impacts of Brexit is to prudently manage the public finances in order to ensure that Ireland's economy continues to remain competitive in the face of future economic headwinds.  In this context, the Government has taken a number of important steps to prepare our economy for the challenges of Brexit, including in Budgets 2017 and 2018, the Action Plan for Jobs, the Ireland Connected trade and investment strategy, and the preparation of a new 10-year Capital Plan.

As discussions on the future relationship between the UK and the EU progress, my Department will continue to monitor the economic impacts of Brexit, including carrying out relevant analysis and contingency planning for the future challenges ahead.

Question No. 56 answered with Question No. 52.