Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (623)

Michael McGrath


623. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the impact on the construction and housing market from a no-deal Brexit was included in the Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union Contingency Action Plan Update; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39274/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

On 9 July 2019 the Government published the Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update which reflects the extensive work that has taken place at EU level and on a whole-of-Government basis, including the Brexit Omnibus Act, to prepare for a no deal Brexit, including in relation to housing and construction matters.

My Department has been engaging extensively with the construction sector on Brexit preparedness for both orderly and disorderly Brexit scenarios, as indicated in the reply to Question No 203 of 26 September 2019. The Contingency Action Plan Update outlines the regulatory impact of Brexit, the consequences for manufacturers, importers, distributors and authorised representatives and the mitigating actions to be taken. As part of its outreach to the construction sector, the Department has facilitated a construction stakeholder forum for information sharing and preparedness purposes. This forum includes members of construction sector interest groups together with representatives from Revenue, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the National Standards Authority of Ireland and the Building Control Office. It met in July and September and will meet again on 24 October. Sector preparedness actions have accelerated since the establishment of this group, with increased uptake of Revenue EORI registrations and customs preparation. In addition, sector representatives report increased activity in terms of supply chain review and transfer of certificates to EU-27 Notified Bodies, where necessary, in advance of Brexit.

As indicated in the Brexit Contingency Action Plan update, the Irish and British Governments entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on 8 May 2019, reaffirming our joint commitment to the Common Travel Area. This underpins the longstanding arrangements for Irish and UK nationals to move freely to live, work and study and access healthcare, social security and public services in each other’s countries as well as to vote in certain elections. The Memorandum affords Irish citizens residing in the UK and UK nationals residing in Ireland, the right to access social housing, including supported housing and homeless assistance, in each other’s State, on the same basis as citizens of that State.

My Department, in common with all others, continues to afford the highest priority to addressing Brexit related issues in its area, including in relation to housing/construction matters.