Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD has said the Government cannot hope and pray a Brexit deal is reached and must be ready for a ‘no deal’ scenario.
Donnelly made his comments following Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference in which she stated that her Government is preparing ‘for every eventuality’, including no deal being reached.
Deputy Donnelly commented, “Theresa May explicitly stated that whilst she believed reaching a deal on Brexit is in everybody’s interests, her Government is nevertheless preparing for a no deal scenario.
“Ireland is failing to do the same. The Irish Government promised detailed sectoral plans. Sixteen months after the referendum they have not been produced. In fact, An Taoiseach recently confirmed to me that the Government didn’t even have a timeline for them.
“It was further revealed that no contingency plans have been put in place, and that committees were meeting in the last few days to begin discussing them. Compare that to the financial services firms in the UK who were required to have full contingency plans in place months ago. And it gets worse – because Irish officials have been ordered by the Government to stop interacting with their UK counterparts on contingency planning.
“It appears the Government are hoping and praying for an agreement to be reached. Its fine to hope for the best, but Ireland must be prepared for the worst, in this case a ‘cliff-edge’ scenario, which is exactly what the UK government is preparing for. At this juncture the UK is intent on leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union and the prospect of this happening without a deal in place is not beyond the realms of possibility.
“The Government needs to get their act together and ensure that they are prepared and equipped for such an eventuality. Moreover, Irish businesses must have confidence that if this scenario comes to pass the Government have a detailed and ready to execute plan in place. Too many jobs and livelihoods are at stake for the Government to rest on their laurels on this.”