The Government priority now is to work towards the finalisation of the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration on the EU-UK future relationship. Any Brexit scenario will mean change and impact for Ireland.
My Department is working within the whole-of-Government framework overseen by the Department of Foreign Affairs to mitigate the economic impact of Brexit and to maximise opportunities. The key elements of the Government approach are:
- prudent management of our economy and the public finances to enable us to meet future challenges;
- negotiating effectively, as part of the EU27, with the objective of reaching an agreement that sees the closest possible relationship between the EU and the UK while also ensuring a strong and well-functioning EU;
- supporting business and the economy through a broad range of Government measures, programmes and strategies;
- exploring existing and possible future EU measures that could potentially assist Ireland in mitigating the effects of the UK’s withdrawal on specific Irish businesses and economic sectors; and
- maximising any economic opportunities arising from the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
The Government has recently launched a new Getting Ireland Ready public awareness campaign, with information on the Government’s latest preparedness and support measures, as well as holding a series of public outreach events throughout October in Cork, Galway, Monaghan and Dublin. These events had strong participation from business and community. Further public outreach events are planned for this month.
In addition to preparing for the challenges of Brexit, Government and state agencies are working hard to fully exploit any opportunities that may arise. This includes promoting Ireland as an English speaking member of the EU with unfettered accesses to the EU market, and as a preferred destination for inward investment.
In the Department of Finance, my colleague the Minister of State Michael D’Arcy TD, who has responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance, continues to implement the Government’s IFS2020 Strategy for driving growth in the international financial services sector. In a post-UK referendum environment, the IFS2020 Strategy provides a framework to maximise opportunities that may arise in the international financial services sector. Public announcements to establish or expand operations have already been made by a number of companies. The Government will continue to leverage our IFS2020 Strategy to maximise those opportunities and to drive growth in the IFS sector.