Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly has called on the Government to publish long-promised sectoral plans in light of Prime Minister May’s commitment to end free movement in March 2019.

Deputy Donnelly commented, “The British Prime Minister’s comments make a Brexit cliff far more likely, as the EU is unlikely to accept any transitional arrangement that doesn’t include the free movement of people. Any such cliff puts Irish jobs at risk, would cause chaos for trade and travel, and could wipe out sectors of Ireland’s agri-food industry.

“Ireland must ensure that it has detailed contingency plans in place, sector by sector, to avert any major economic disruption. The Government keeps promising to publish detailed plans, but to date we’ve seen nothing. Not only that, but we can’t even get estimated publication dates.

“Irish businesses, farmers and fishing communities need clear guidance and support. To date, Government surveys indicate that only 3 in 20 Irish businesses plan to have a Brexit plan in place. This is not enough.

“We are about a quarter of the way through negotiations and we still do not have agreement on some of the major issues such as the rights of EU and UK citizens, the future of the Northern Ireland border, general separation issues and the cost to British Government of leaving the EU.  Ireland cannot afford to wait around for the UK to decide on its own objective”.