Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD has called on Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor to release research conducted on behalf of her Department following refusals last week.
The Department of Jobs has conducted a survey of over 1,000 SME’s on Brexit to consider the policy responses needed for the sectors which are most exposed to Brexit. In response to a parliamentary question last week, the Minister confirmed that she has no intention of releasing the studies.
Deputy Donnelly commented, “I believe that all parties in the Dáil have the same objective when it comes to Brexit and jobs. There is an onus on us all to ensure that Irish companies are prepared for Brexit and that we are in a position to seize any opportunities which may come about as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
“With this in mind, I find it bizarre that the Minister would deem it appropriate to shield the result of a significant report on Ireland’s SME’s preparedness for Brexit. The Minister has effectively said that these surveys will form the basis of our decision-making process, and should not be published for that reason. It strikes me that the exact opposite should be the case. When the Minister makes a decision, especially one in the area of Brexit, the rationale underpinning the decision should be available to the Dáil so that it can be properly scrutinised.
“Further, there are other avenues through which to secure this information, such as freedom of information requests which I have submitted, meaning that the Minister has only stalled this discussion rather than suppressing it. Considering that the survey in question explores attitudes towards the preparedness for Brexit and that the Minister is unwilling to release the results, it is reasonable to conclude that the Minister has something that she wants to hide,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.