Government called on to publish Brexit legislation

The Government is being called on to publish legislation to protect Ireland from a “catastrophic no-deal Brexit”.

Fianna Fail TD and party spokesperson on Brexit, Lisa Chambers, highlighted that there are only 26 Dail sitting days until March 29 – the date Britain will leave the European Union, which at present, looks set to happen without a trade deal being agreed.

“Several other countries, including France and Germany, have already published draft legislation, and Ireland is behind the curve in terms of our preparedness in this regard,” warned Chambers.

Given that we are the member state that stands to be most effected by a no-deal Brexit, the Government must ensure that we are sufficiently prepared for such a scenario.

Last Tuesday, January 15, the UK parliament voted to reject the withdrawal agreement that was negotiated between the government there and the EU; the agreement would have kept much of the current trading relationship between Ireland and the UK in place.

If Britain exits the EU without a deal, it would result in World Trade Organisation tariffs being put on Irish goods entering Britain – including agri-food produce.

“The reality is that there is very little time to get this right and I am calling on the Government to publish this bill as soon as possible in order to give opposition parties the opportunity to examine this legislation and to have an input into it,” argued Chambers.

It is in all of our interests to ensure that this piece of legislation is robust and protects Ireland in as much as is feasibly possible from the fall-out of what potentially is a catastrophic no-deal Brexit.

“Time is limited, and the Government must publish this legislation and let us, as elected parliamentarians and legislators, get on with the job,” she concluded.