Fianna Fáil Spokesperson Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Niall Collins has criticised the tardy publication of a report focused on ‘Sectoral Implications arising from Brexit: Most Exposed Sectors’ which was promised before Christmas and is now not likely to be made public until 2018 at the earliest.

Deputy Collins was commenting after receiving a parliamentary reply from the new Minister, Health Humphreys where she states that “the aim is to publish the findings by end of Q2’.

“This is very disappointing and demonstrates the consistent lack of action by the Department in preparing sectors heavily affected by Brexit to deal with its impact.

“The Minister must come clean about the reasons why such a delay is being tolerated by her, and why she is so afraid of releasing the contents into the public domain.

“Last November, the former Tánaiste and Minister, Frances Fitzgerald informed me that the analysis would be published by the end of 2017.

“I appreciate that a new Minister took office in December 2017, but I do not see how an additional six months in delays came about between November 2017 and this week.

“March 2019, the date on which the UK is planning to leave the European Union, is now less than 14 months away, leaving businesses with just nine months to prepare for Brexit based on the analyses conducted by the Department.

“Fianna Fáil is calling on the Government to publish this analysis, and the review of Ireland’s enterprise strategy, ‘Enterprise 2025’, before the commencement of Phase II Brexit negotiations.

“It seems that many sectors of Irish society, including some Government Departments, have become numb to the potential damage and harm that Brexit will cause to Irish business, farming and enterprise.

“Full disclosure of all analyses, reports and data must take place as soon as possible. We owe this to our businesses and enterprises that are under-prepared for what is the greatest economic threat to the State since its foundation.

“We must be prepared for all potential scenarios that may come down the line. The best way to prepare, in my opinion, is to have as much information available as possible,” concluded Collins.