Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Niall Collins T.D. has said that Irish exporting businesses are being failed by the inaction of Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor to deal with Brexit.

Deputy Collins was commenting after 24 hours of silence from the Minister since the announcement of what amounts to a Hard Brexit strategy by British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

“While Minister Mitchell O’Connor manages what appears to be chaos in her office following the resignation of two key advisers, the decision of the Tory Prime Minister to start on a course of full, and absolute, divorce from the European Union, represents the greatest threat in decades to Irish exports and SME jobs.

“Businesses, particularly in the export industry, need swift, decisive and confident leadership from Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

“The Minister, the Government member with responsibility for protecting Irish enterprise and developing trade policy, has of yet, made no comment.

“Minister Mitchell O’Connor must turn her focus onto immediately setting out her Department’s key business priorities and trade objectives in a clear, positive Brexit ‘action plan’.

“Contingency plans for business sectors, up to and including transitional aid measures, affected by the Brexit decision need to be urgently outlined.

“Enterprise 2025, the Government’s primary strategy for promoting enterprise, has been out of date since the Brexit vote last June. I’ve repeatedly called for it to be reviewed to reflect the changed circumstances, yet Minister Mitchell O’Connor continues to sit silently, appearing to hope that the issue will just go away.

“It’s her Department, her Department’s strategy, and her responsibility to protect Irish exporters and Irish jobs.

“The Government likes to talk a good game about how ready, and prepared, it is for the severe economic ramifications of Brexit. But SME’s are watching as Minister Mitchell O’Connor fails to bring forward any sort of plan to deal with Brexit.

“Without an immediate contingency plan, Irish business, especially those whose focus is exporting, will continue to wonder if anyone is in charge,” concluded Collins.

-ENDS-