Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ceisteanna (79)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

79. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the number of regular grade civil servants his Department has hired in advance of a no-deal Brexit; the number of specialist grade civil servants hired in advance of same; the budget made available in advance of Brexit for hiring of staff in advance of the UK withdrawal from the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3321/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I wish to inform the Deputy that the Assistant Secretary who heads the EU and International Division of my Department is designated as the lead official in the Department for Brexit matters.  A dedicated Brexit Unit within the EU and International Division was established in July 2016 to oversee and coordinate Brexit work across the entire Department and to act as a key liaison point, in particular with the Departments of the Taoiseach and of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  There are currently four staff in the dedicated unit which is led at Principal Officer level.  Also, an additional staff member has been assigned to the Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels specifically to deal with Brexit.

We have appointed lead Brexit coordinators at Principal Officer level across all divisions of the Department.   The challenges which we face as a result of Brexit are mainstreamed across all divisions of my Department and this is reflected in business planning. 

In July 2018, and again in September 2018, a number of decisions were made at Cabinet relating to Brexit preparedness and contingency planning, including the phased recruitment of staff, as required.

The Government has already sanctioned €4m for the commencement of a phased process for the recruitment of additional staff to carry out the greatly increased volumes of import controls and export certification arising from Brexit.