On Wednesday next week the Cabinet will meet in Kerry and as the Minister with special responsibility for Brexit I will be bringing a memo to colleagues on Ireland’s preparedness for the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Although Brexit has been one of the most talked-about subjects in Ireland for more than three years now, it hasn’t actually happened yet. However, we are almost two-thirds of the way through the negotiations and in a little over eight months, on March 29th, 2019, the UK will formally leave the EU.

We need to recognise that this is happening – the UK is leaving the EU and some things are going to change.

We know what some of this change looks like and we are planning for it. We must remember, however, that negotiations are still ongoing and this means that we don’t know exactly what change Brexit will bring in all areas. This is why achieving the best possible outcome for Ireland in the negotiations remains a central part of our strategic response to Brexit and is vital in our efforts to minimise the impact on our economy.

We are planning for the best but preparing for all scenarios.

East-west measures

The memo I will bring to Cabinet next week is about being ready for the change that is coming. We are particularly focused on the areas where the Government has direct responsibility and on measures that need to be taken on an east-west basis, such as customs and veterinary controls at ports and airports.

Other changes will be tackled on an EU-wide basis. There are a whole range of areas which will continue to be covered by EU rules and regulations. The UK has chosen to walk away from the certainty and clarity that this comprehensive EU framework provides but we will continue to benefit from the stability of our EU membership.



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