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Brexit Staff

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 17 January 2019

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Questions (191)

Lisa Chambers


191. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of additional staff relating to Brexit that will be in place by 29 March 2019; the areas in this regard; his plans to continue recruitment post March 2019; the plans in place in this regard; the number of additional Brexit-related staff that will be hired in 2019; and the fields in which they will be recruited. [2243/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department is participating very actively in the Whole-of-Government approach to preparednessand contingency planning for Brexit. My officials are working closely with colleagues in other Departments and agencies across the public service to develop a joint approach in relation to the implementation at ports and airports of import controls on products coming from the UK.

These requirements are significant, and arise in relation to the carrying out of documentary, identity and physical checks on imports of animals, plants, and products of animal and plant origin, as set out in EU legislation. The Department has carried out an extensive analysis exercise, based on examination of trade and container movement data, together with close consultation with stakeholder organisations and individual companies, to establish as best we can the likely volumes of controls that will need to be carried out. This has been a difficult exercise, given the lack of detailed data as a result of the UK’s participation in the Single Market up to this point, but we have based our assumptions and planning on what we believe are reasonable estimates of the likely volumes.

On staffing, we have used this data analysis exercise to guide our planning in relation to putting in place the staff that will be required to carry out the range of controls needed. These controls are carried out by a combination of portal inspectorate staff and where necessary, the appropriate veterinary and technical supervision. The Department is working very effectively with Customs and others to provide the resources needed to apply the necessary controls. A significant number of staff have already been recruited for this work and I am confident that the state will be in a position to deliver the services required in terms of both imports and exports at the appropriate time.