Since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in June 2017, I have overseen and co-ordinated a sustained intensification of Brexit preparedness. As part of these efforts, the Government has organised “Getting Ireland Brexit Ready” public information events around Ireland to inform and advise about Brexit preparedness, and the range of support measures and resources that the Government has put in place.
These events brought together over a dozen Agencies and their parent Departments – the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport - under one roof to inform and advise both citizens and businesses.
The Workshops also attracted significant domestic and international (in particular UK) media coverage which afforded an opportunity to highlight Ireland’s overall approach and specific concerns in relation to Brexit.
Six Getting Ireland Brexit Ready workshop events have so far taken place in Cork on 5 October, Galway on 12 October, Monaghan on 19 October, Dublin on 25 October, Limerick on 23 November, and Letterkenny on 30 November. Having participated at each event, I am pleased to confirm that all workshops attracted a strong attendance.
The Getting Ireland Brexit Ready campaign invited business throughout the country to either attend one of the six workshops, or to come online to the dfa.ie/brexit website, which has been visited over 26,000 times.
Attendance figures for each Getting Ireland Brexit Ready workshop were as follows:
The positive impact of the roadshows is reflected in an increase in interactions with the Brexit supports offered by State agencies. For example, Enterprise Ireland has recorded a 92% increase in Brexit Scorecard completions from September to October, as well as a 62% increase in interactions on its website. Similarly, Fáilte Ireland noted a 24% increase in views to their Brexit webpages subsequent to the October events, as well as an uptrend averaging 83% in the number of interactions on their Get Brexit Ready diagnostic tool.
Other Brexit preparedness-related public information activities and events continue to be organised by State Agencies and Departments across Ireland and relevant details on these can be found at the new dedicated Brexit events page on the dfa.ie/brexit website.