Leo Varadkar’s government is being urged to publish long-promised sectoral plans in light of UK Prime Minister May’s commitment to end free movement in March 2019.
The call comes from Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit, Stephen Donnelly. “The British Prime Minister's comments make a Brexit cliff far more likely, as the EU is unlikely to accept any transitional arrangement that doesn't include the free movement of people,” Donnelly says.
"Any such cliff puts Irish jobs at risk, would cause chaos for trade and travel, and could wipe out sectors of Ireland's agri-food industry.”
“Ireland must ensure that it has detailed contingency plans in place, sector by sector, to avert any major economic disruption. The Government keeps promising to publish detailed plans, but to date we've seen nothing. Not only that, but we can't even get estimated publication dates.
“Irish businesses, farmers and fishing communities need clear guidance and support. To date, Government surveys indicate that only 3 in 20 Irish businesses plan to have a Brexit plan in place. This is not enough.”
Donnelly, who was the subject of a major Hot Press Interview back in January, added: “We are about a quarter of the way through negotiations and we still do not have agreement on some of the major issues such as the rights of EU and UK citizens, the future of the Northern Ireland border, general separation issues and the cost to British Government of leaving the EU.
"Ireland cannot afford to wait around for the UK to decide on its own objective.”
Donnelly also slammed reports that Leo Varadkar has order to Revenue officials to stop investigating technological solutions for electronic monitoring as an option for Brexit.
“If it is the case that Irish officials in Revenue and other parts of the State have been directed to stand down in terms of Brexit preparation and scenario analysis, then to my mind that would be extremely reckless behaviour,” Donnelly said yesterday.
“It would be legitimate for the Irish Government to conduct a thorough analysis and not publish that analysis. But to walk into negotiations not having done the analysis would be dangerous and would put jobs at risk.”