Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Lisa Chambers TD has said that caution and cool heads are required as the October deadline for a Brexit withdrawal agreement approaches.

Deputy Chambers made her comments following her attendance at a Brexit Stakeholder Forum and in light of a report from the rating agency Moody’s which warned that as a consequence of Brexit Ireland could experience a loss in output commensurate with that of the UK and that the risk of a no deal Brexit has materially risen.

Deputy Chambers, “The deadline for reaching a deal on the withdrawal agreement is fast approaching and it is imperative that the Government exercises caution in the coming weeks. A lot of work remains to be done to resolve outstanding Irish issues.

“Issues relating to the Common Travel Area need to be resolved as soon as possible. Businesses for example need certainty that their employees can move freely between jurisdictions. In addition, we also need clarity on the rights and applicable fee structures for Irish third level students who wish to study in the U.K. and vice versa post Brexit. This may require a new legislative framework to facilitate the current situation continuing and we should endeavour to have this in place in advance of it being needed.

“‘It is abundantly clear that a no deal scenario is in no one’s interests and would cause profound economic harm to Ireland and would among many other negative things be detrimental to East-West and North-South relations.  It is therefore imperative that all sides work to reach an agreement so we can move forward to the transition period.

“However, I would caution that the Government needs to remain particularly vigilant in the coming weeks and months. Ireland stands to be affected by Brexit more so than any other EU member state and faces a unique set of challenges. It is therefore imperative the Government does not assume that all can be resolved during the negotiations on the future trading relationship that are due to take place during the transition period. The Government must be particularly vigilant during this period to ensure that they don’t sleep walk us into a hard border.

“There is much at stake in the weeks ahead and as has been reiterated on several occasions by Michel Barnier and others, ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.”