Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (135)

Declan Breathnach


135. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Finance the measures being taken to monitor goods entering the State across the Border after the UK leaves the EU; if extra customs staff are being deployed for this purpose; if new offices of the Revenue Commissioners are being established along the Border; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39417/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Government has been clear that it is determined in the context of Brexit, deal or 'no deal', to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The Deputy will be aware that given the approaching Brexit deadline, intensive discussions are taking place involving the Government, the EU Commission and our EU partners as to how we can meet the shared twin objectives of protecting the Single Market and Ireland’s place in it, to avoid physical infrastructure at the border. Revenue is providing the necessary technical expertise and assistance to facilitate those discussions.

In preparation for Brexit, Revenue has been recruiting additional staff across a range of grades and is confident that the full additional resource of 600 will be in place by 31 October. I am advised by Revenue that these staff are being recruited and deployed for the purposes of facilitating and supporting legitimate trade post-Brexit.

Revenue already implements a comprehensive risk-based intervention programme to identify, target and disrupt all forms of cross-border smuggling and criminality. Revenue’s priority focus on such activity will continue to be the case regardless of the eventual outcome of Brexit. I am assured that Revenue will continue to adjust its recruitment, training and deployment plans in response to business needs, including Brexit-related developments and will deploy resources to quickly confront any risks as they emerge. I remain open to consider any request from Revenue for additional resources, if required.