Since the result of the UK referendum in 2016, Brexit has been embedded in all of the Government’s economic decision-making, and in the management of our economy. At all times the Government has sought to protect our citizens and support the economy, enterprise and jobs. Budget 2020 builds on the preparations that have been underway across Government since the UK referendum in 2016, including:
- dedicated measures announced in Budgets 2017, 2018 and 2019;
- two comprehensive Contingency Action Plans;
- enhanced physical capacity at our ports and airports;
- training and financial supports to increase our customs capacity; and
- appointment of additional staff in key areas.
In addition, up to €600 million has been made available through the Future Growth Loan Scheme and Brexit Loan Scheme. This is already helping our businesses to mitigate the risks of Brexit.
Budget 2020, including the macroeconomic and fiscal outlook which underpins it, was based on the prudent assumption that the UK would leave the EU without an agreement. The Budget set out a number of temporary, targeted support measures that could be triggered to ensure that that our economy will be protected insofar as possible from the risks of a no deal Brexit. This is prudent budgetary management. Assuming a no-deal Brexit ensures that the Government will have the necessary resources at its disposal to address this challenge, whilst preserving the longer-term sustainability of the public finances and safeguarding the hard won progress of recent years in stabilising the public finances.
The Government’s focus is to protect our economy and to minimise disruption to the greatest extent possible. The best way we can mitigate against the risks posed by Brexit is through prudent budgetary policy, careful management of the public finances and by focusing on competitiveness-oriented policies. The Government will continue to work to strengthen the resilience of the economy, to maximise opportunities and to prepare for the challenges of Brexit.