Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

24th August, 2018

Govt must step up efforts to protect Irish interests in Brexit negotiations, and businesses need to prepare for a “no deal” scenario – Breathnach

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has said that while the UK’s Brexit Secretary’s assertion that a good deal with the EU is within sight, nothing is certain at all yet.

“The details contained in the newly-published papers to guide businesses in the case of a “no deal” Brexit are sobering. Trade across the border between the UK and the EU post-Brexit if there is no agreement, would become much more complex and businesses have been warned of the likely need to invest in new computer systems to track goods. Reverting to a “third country” status will mean higher costs for firms that are engaged in trade both in exports and imports.

“While I welcome Dominic Raab’s statement that the UK has secured agreement on about 80% of the issues and that a “good deal” is within sight, the publication of these documents is a signal that a no-deal Brexit could still be a possibility. This is not in the best interests of Ireland and the government now needs to step up efforts to ensure that a deal can be reached between the UK and the EU.

Breathnach said “While it is all well and good to reinforce their intention to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and to commit to engaging constructively on the issue we are no closer to seeing how this will happen in reality. Michel Barnier has said this week that the EU and UK should “de-dramatise” the backstop by clarifying which controls were needed, where they should take place, and how they should be carried out The backstop as promised has to be agreed upon. How we can manage movement across the border and avoid visible checks remains a critical challenge.

“Our government needs to assess the technical notes released this week and examine their implications on Ireland. There are still a number of outstanding issues, particularly in relation to the border, that must be clarified. The Brexit deadline is now fast approaching and real effort is needed to ensure that a deal is reached and Ireland’s interests are protected”.

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email)