Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (91)

Lisa Chambers


91. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Finance the number of meetings he has attended since the beginning of September 2018 with his officials to discuss and prepare for Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3597/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Deputy will be aware that Brexit has implications across almost all sectors of the economy. Since the UK referendum, Brexit is an integral part of business planning in the Department of Finance and issues relating to Brexit are mainstreamed across all divisions of my Department. In this context, I meet and engage on an ongoing basis with my officials on issues linked to Brexit.  The objective of my approach as Minister for Finance is to protect the economic and financial interests of the state and to support the work of the Revenue Commissioners so as to minimise disruption to trade to the greatest extent possible. These objectives are being advanced under four priority headings which are developing appropriate economic and budgetary policy advice; safeguarding financial stability through engagement with the CBI and the NTMA; assuring continued funding of the State by the NTMA and supporting the work of the Revenue Commissioners in the areas of customs, direct and indirect tax.  

I would point out that my Department has been to the fore in producing and funding a number of Brexit-related studies, both before and since the UK's referendum decision, covering overall macroeconomic and sectoral impacts. 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. 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.  We have appointed lead Brexit coordinators at Principal Officer level across all divisions of the Department. Developments on and preparations for Brexit are a standing item for discussion by my officials at key departmental structures, such as the Executive Board and EU Strategy Committee meetings.