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Brexit Staff

Dáil Éireann Debate, Monday - 11 September 2017

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ceisteanna (2112, 2113)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

2112. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if there is a senior official with designated responsibility for Brexit matters in his Department; if so, the grade of the designated official; the funding allocated to the Brexit unit; the cost to date; the anticipated cost; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37989/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Burton

Ceist:

2113. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of staff deployed full time in his Department in respect of Brexit; if there is a designated section or unit to deal with Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38005/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2112 and 2113 together.

The outcome of the vote of 23 June 2016 in the UK will have implications across all aspects of the business of the European Union. While the vote does not give rise to fundamental strategic issues for Defence Forces operations or for Ireland’s continuing engagement within the EU in the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), it is expected that Brexit will have an impact on future developments in the Defence sphere. The structures put in place in the Department of Defence to address the potential challenges arising from Brexit include the assignment of responsibility to a senior official at Assistant Secretary General level in relation to Brexit related matters. The senior official is leading the Department’s input to deliberations within the framework established across Government and is supported in their role by a number of Branches in the Department. The senior official represents the Department on the InterDepartmental Group on EU-UK Affairs which is chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach and is engaged with the identification of key strategic, operational and policy issues arising from Brexit. In addition, the Management Board is acting as a clearing house for Brexit and maintains oversight on an ongoing basis. As the Deputy will also be aware, the Government has adopted a contingency framework to deal with all issues arising in respect of the UK vote to leave the EU. Accordingly, any issues arising, including those within the Defence area, whether bilateral, or in respect of developments in CSDP, or regarding our wider international multilateral defence engagements, will be also addressed within that framework. As matters relating to Brexit are currently being absorbed and dealt with within existing Department structures and resources, there is currently no dedicated Brexit funding allocation in the Department of Defence. As the Deputy is aware the formal EU-UK negotiations commenced in July and a series of meetings have already taken place. All potential consequences in the defence sphere, arising during these negotiations, will remain the subject of ongoing consideration by my Department throughout this process.

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