Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Lisa Chambers has called for greater government engagement on Brexit after it was revealed that the Cabinet Committee on Brexit has only met 3 times in the last year.

The information was contained in a reply to a parliamentary question submitted by Deputy Chambers.

“Cabinet Committee C covers issues relating to the European Union and assists the government in its ongoing consideration of Brexit yet this Cabinet committee has only met three times in the last year and its next meeting has still not been scheduled”, said Deputy Chambers.

“Given the gravity of Brexit, the lack of progress on the backstop and the threat that it poses to Ireland’s peace and economic prosperity, it is imperative that the government increases its own internal engagement on this issue and overall preparedness.

“Every time I or any of my colleagues raise issues in relation to our preparedness for Brexit we are met with criticism from the government and accusations that we are trying to undermine it and its negotiation position. Fianna Fáil has no intention or desire to do so; we are simply trying to ensure that sufficient plans are in place whatever the outcome of the negotiations.

“Furthermore, it is being reported that an EU internal document is warning that member states need to step up their preparations for a no deal Brexit, something which we in Fianna Fáil have been long calling for. Whilst we certainly hope that a cliff edge scenario will be avoided and a deal is secured that is in the best interests of Ireland, the EU and the UK, it is only prudent and practical to plan for all scenarios.

“Ireland trades €1.2bn in goods and services with the UK on a weekly basis. A hard Brexit could result in 40,000 job losses and is a serious threat to our economic prosperity. Given that the UK will leave the EU in just a few short months, it is essential that the government increases its own preparedness for Brexit and actively supports and encourages our businesses and SMEs to do likewise. A wait and see approach cannot be the government’s policy when so much is at stake”.