Thursday, 7 February 2019

Ceisteanna (21)

Bernard Durkan


21. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he is making the necessary preparations to combat the effects of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5913/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Extensive Brexit preparedness and contingency planning has been underway across Government since before the UK referendum on EU membership.

In the aftermath of the referendum a Contingency Framework was published by the Government that identified the key policy issues to be managed by Departments. The Contingency Framework was central to the development of Ireland’s position in the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement and also served as the basis for the work that has been underway across all Departments and Agencies to prepare for Brexit. This has included the preparation of Preparedness Action and Contingency Plans by all Departments, including my own. These plans identified key challenges and the associated mitigation approaches.

At its meeting on 11 December 2018 the Government decided to give greater immediate priority to the preparations for a no-deal Brexit. This is being co-ordinated by the Department of the Taoiseach in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, and involves all Government Departments and agencies.

As I know the Deputy will agree, central to our preparations for Brexit is a sound economy. Since the UK referendum in 2016, all of our national Budgets have been framed to prepare for the challenge of Brexit. The economic and fiscal policies that we have pursued mean that the economy is now in a better position to weather the impacts of Brexit. The possibility of a no-deal Brexit has influenced policy decisions made in relation to the public finances in terms of our stated aim of balancing the books and investing in capital infrastructure.