While the focus remains on securing an orderly and agreed Brexit, the Government’s Contingency Action Plan recognises that a no deal Brexit would pose unique and unprecedented challenges for the UK, as well as for the EU, including Ireland. Brexit of any kind will mean change and managing a no deal Brexit would particularly be an exercise in damage limitation. It would be impossible in a no deal scenario to maintain the current seamless arrangements between the EU and UK across a full range of sectors, which is currently facilitated by our common EU membership.
As part of the overall no deal preparations, The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has obtained Government’s approval to the preparation of the Miscellaneous Provisions (Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 29 March 2019) Bill 2019. This single omnibus Bill is made up of 17 parts prepared by 9 Ministers. Each part will be commenced by the individual Minister at the appropriate time.
The Government has published a Contingency Action Plan, setting out its approach to dealing with a no deal Brexit. This is the culmination of many months of work. This work continues both at a national and EU level and further information on no deal preparedness will follow in January and February.
The Government and the EU remain committed to securing a negotiated outcome. However, that has not yet been achieved and we are now less than 100 days away from the UK withdrawal from the EU.
Contingency preparations for a “no deal” outcome must therefore be intensified as the risk of a disorderly Brexit increases, posing unique and unprecedented challenges.
On December 19, the European Commission published a Communication on Implementing its Contingency Action Plan, setting out measures, including legislative proposals, which it considers necessary to mitigate the most severe consequences of a “no deal” Brexit at EU level.
It is against this backdrop that the Government is presenting its assessment of the challenges and the measures considered essential to limit the damage of a “no deal” exit and to put in place measures to manage that exit as best as possible.
The Government’s overall objectives have been consistent from the start – seeking to minimise the impact on trade and the economy, protecting the peace process including avoiding a hard border, maintaining the Common Travel Area and reinforcing commitment to and participation in the EU. They continue to guide our approach, regardless of the type of Brexit we end up with.
The Government’s approach combines full participation in the overall EU framework for managing a no deal outcome with further specific challenges and responses at national level.
The detailed documentation published today sets out the Government’s analysis of a “no deal” Brexit under a number of important headings.
Economic and fiscal impact:
Specific actions identified in the Government’s analysis include:
Procurement of additional space and facilities at ports and airports to accommodate the significant increase in checks and procedures that will be required;
Read the full Brexit Contingency Action Plan