My Department has been actively participating in the Whole-of-Government approach to preparedness and contingency planning. We have fed into the overall Government Contingency Action Plan which was published on 19 December, and we have been working very closely with colleagues in other Departments and agencies to address in particular the requirements that will arise in relation to the implementation at ports and airports of import controls on agri-food 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.
We will be applying to the EU Commission to expand the types of products and animals that our existing Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) in Dublin Port and Dublin Airport are authorised to inspect and we are seeking Commission approval for a BIP at Rosslare Port.
In the meantime an existing site has been secured in Dublin Port for the temporary accommodation required in the event of a no deal Brexit and work on refurbishing an existing building will have commenced by the end of the month. Space is being secured for truck parking. There will be dock-levellers, parking for HGVs, toll booth facilities and a public office, along with accommodation for staff.
At the same time, permanent facilities are being developed, with sites identified and plans at an advanced stage.
At Rosslare Europort office, staff accommodation will be located at existing premises in and around the harbour and work on refurbishing them will have commenced by the end of the month. Space for truck parking is being secured.
As in Dublin Port, permanent facilities are being developed in Rosslare Europort, with a site in the harbour identified and plans at an advanced stage.
At Dublin Airport, the volumes of traffic involved in the event of a no deal Brexit can be catered for by existing facilities.
Throughout all this work, the focus of my Department will continue to be on the need to discharge its legal responsibilities while ensuring the minimum disruption to trade.