Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Questions (83)

Bernard Durkan


83. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance the extent to which he continues to make provision for issues arising from Brexit in such a way as to maximise opportunities for the economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21684/18]

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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, to assess and prepare for the impact of a UK exit from the European Union. All of these Brexit-related studies are available on my Department's website. In addition, regular updates of my Department’s Macro-Economic forecasts take account of the impact of Brexit.

While the results in the 'Modelling the Medium to Long Term Potential Macroeconomic Impact of Brexit on Ireland' study published by my Department and the ESRI, show that the potential impact of Brexit on the Irish economy will be significant 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 these results are based on a “no policy change basis”. However, with the future trade path between the UK and EU still unknown, it is crucially important that we prepare our economy for the challenges ahead.

Indeed, as we cannot control the international environment, 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 maximise opportunities for the economy and 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 to make provision for issues arising from Brexit, and contingency plan for the future challenges ahead.