Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly has called on the Government to expedite the development and rollout of Brexit supports for Irish business in response to the publication of the National Competitiveness Council’s Cost of Doing Business Report.

Deputy Donnelly stated, “I welcome the fact that Ireland has been named 6th in the IMD’s world competitiveness ranking’s today. In order to maintain this position, we must act now to maintain and strengthen this position. The report also published by the National Competitiveness Council indicates this.

“75% of Irish SMEs expect to be impacted by Brexit. On top of this, they are dealing with challenges which many have not been faced with previously. These include currency fluctuations already impacting some industries, dealing with external EU borders, potential divergence in regulations, adjustment of supply lines and developing contacts outside the Anglophone world. All of these require special advice, guidance and training.

“We must move quickly beyond the preparation phase and on to the mitigation phase. The fact that only one in four Brexit related posts have been filled in our State agencies dedicated to protecting Irish jobs is alarming. How can the Government expect serious progress to be made when just 12 additional staff have been put in place in Enterprise Ireland alongside 1 additional staff member in the IDA?

“At this rate, we run the risk of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. Companies are already relocating and supply chains are currently being reoriented. The Government needs to put in place the supports needed to protect Irish jobs.”