Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD has warned that Ireland is sleepwalking into danger. Earlier today, he called on the Government to bolster State agencies to ensure they are adequately equipped to deal with the fallout associated with Brexit.

Deputy Donnelly said; “The State is not prepared for the scale of the unprecedented challenges Brexit poses. Later this week, the UK will trigger Article 50. These are the most important negotiations in the history of the state, as the Taoiseach himself has described them.

“Given the scale of these negotiations; Bord Bia, which acts as Ireland’s food and drink industry’s link with the outside world has been given permission by government to hire 4 additional staff. The Department of Agriculture’s Brexit unit has one principle officer and three staff. This is in spite of the fact that we sell almost half of our food and drink to the UK. The IDA, which is instrumental in attracting new financial services firms to Ireland has been given permission to hire 9, and Enterprise Ireland, which supports Irish business has been given permission to hire less than 40.

“The Department of Finance, recently told the Finance Committee that a hard Brexit, which is being openly discussed in both the EU and UK would cost Ireland about 40,000 jobs and reduce exports to the UK by about one third over the next decade.

“An immediate review needs to be conducted to ensure that all state agencies have the resources that they need form a national response to Brexit. New polling shows that two thirds of the public believe that this paltry response to Brexit is not good enough. It is time for a national response to a national threat.”