Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith commented on plans to introduce new arrangements for the border and tariffs on exports to the UK.

Deputy Smith said, “The plan for tariffs and new arrangements for the border are reckless and will cause havoc in the agri-food sector. There have been growing concerns in Cavan-Monaghan over the past two years as ‘Brexit Day’ approaches. The new proposals on tariffs and the border justify these anxieties.

“I sincerely hope that this is a provocative attempt to persuade the MPs to vote against a no deal scenario when they are asked over the next 24 hours in Westminster.

“The EU will respond to the plans to allow goods to travel freely between the Republic and Northern Ireland in the short term and the Irish government will have to elaborate on their own plans to respond to this plan. At this time of massive uncertainty Government must concentrate on dealing with all aspects of Brexit and ensure that Irish interests are fully protected.  Priority has to be attached to these issues.

“The Taoiseach stated last week that Ireland is the most prepared country in Europe when it comes to Brexit. He also promised to give us the latest figures for the levels of preparedness amongst business which go beyond the number of inquiries made.

“There is uncertainty in my constituency and across the border region. The government should immediately publish the likely impact of these new tariffs and draw up a plan to respond to the changes.  Severe market disturbances would cause huge problems for our economy which depends so much on trade,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.