Irish Government giving ‘top priority’ for no-deal Brexit preparations

The Irish Government is giving “top priority” to preparations for a no-deal Brexit, it has been announced.

The move was detailed in a statement issued on Tuesday night following a briefing on the latest position on negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom about the latter’s departure.

The Irish Government said it had “noted the increasing risk of a no-deal Brexit on October 31”.

It came just hours after the European Commission said that a no-deal outcome remained a “distinct possibility”.

However Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Tuesday that he believes the chances of a deal have risen in the last few weeks.

The Irish Government statement said it had agreed to give no deal planning “top priority”.

“It also discussed in detail the position on no-deal Brexit contingency mitigation and preparations and agreed that no-deal Brexit planning would continue to get top priority across all Government Department and Agencies,” the statement reads.

“Notwithstanding the full range of preparations and mitigation measures in place, a no-deal Brexit risks potentially severe impacts in a number of areas, as summarised in the Updated Contingency Action Plan published by the Government in July.”

The Irish government also agreed that all ministers should review preparations again, and should continue to engage in an extensive programme of outreach to stakeholders.

Work is ongoing to help Irish businesses be prepared for a hard Brexit, with incentives available to increase preparedness.

“An additional phase of work is now under way involving trader outreach and a ‘call to action’ to ensure that businesses are ready for the new regulatory requirements in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“Since July the Revenue Commissioners have been writing individually to all businesses trading with the UK and have completed the exercise of issuing 92,000 letters with, to date, 18,000 follow up phone calls,” the statement adds.

“To support this effort, the Government agreed to a new phase of a central communications campaign focusing on a call to action to businesses and other affected sectors, which will be formally launched tomorrow (Wednesday).”

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