‘A no-deal Brexit will be highly disruptive for society’ – Minister Ross

The Government has extensive preparations in place for a possible no-deal Brexit on October 31. In its action plan published in July 2019, the Government acknowledged that a no-deal Brexit will be “highly disruptive” and will have profound implications across all aspects of society.

It would be impossible for the UK to maintain the current seamless arrangements with the EU across the full range of sectors, including transport connectivity, trade flows and supply chains.

This is according to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, who was speaking on the matter during Dáil proceedings earlier this week.

He was responding to questions put to him by Fianna Fáil deputy Marc McSharry who asked Minister Ross about the “adequacy” of the country’s transport system – particularly at major entry and exit points – with regard to the “ramifications of a no-deal Brexit”.

McSharry also highlighted how “in light of the proposals coming from the UK” a no-deal Brexit was becoming more likely and it was an outcome “that would have disastrous implications for the island of Ireland”.

Contingency plans

The minister, meanwhile, pointed to the contingency plans in place – including in the transport sector – and how it will mitigate “but not eliminate” the impacts of a no-deal Brexit.

Also Read: ‘A no-deal Brexit will have profound implications for Ireland’ – Tánaiste

“The reintroduction of customs or border controls as a consequence of Brexit will undoubtedly increase transit times for all traffic travelling via or from the UK to continental Europe – including for many Irish importers and exporters,” he continued.

“The three locations for which Ireland is heavily dependent on connectivity to the UK are Dublin Port, Dublin Airport and Rosslare Europort.”

He went on to say that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has worked with relevant agencies and departments in delivering the required facilities for agriculture, health and customs checks at these locations.

Temporary facilities are now in place to meet the needs of these agencies.

The minister added: “Additional staffing in customs and excise and the departments of agriculture and health have been recruited and trained.

“These staff will provide the necessary support and manage the efficient movement of freight and people through these locations.

“The necessary associated staffing and IT systems are also in place. I understand that testing of the relevant IT systems is continuing. Communications with stakeholders is ongoing and will continue during October 2019.”

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