Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that Transport Minister Shane Ross’s failure to meet with the Dublin Airport Authority to specifically discuss Brexit shows his negligence as a Government Minister.
The Deputy made his comments in light of information he received through a Parliamentary Question which he tabled to the Department of Transport and which has revealed that Minister Ross has not met with the DAA to explicitly discuss Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The Deputy commented, “I am appalled by the Minister’s hands-off approach to what is an existential threat for the DAA, the aviation industry and my own constituency of Dublin Fingal in particular.
“The Minister acknowledges in his own response that should the UK leave the single aviation market without a replacement agreement: ‘existing traffic rights could be negatively impacted, including the rights of Irish licensed airlines to fly between the UK and Ireland, the UK and the rest of the EU, within the UK, and between the UK and a range of other third countries’.
“Despite it being wholly apparent that Brexit will pose much difficulty for the aviation industry, it is clear that Minister Ross is not treating it with the attention that it requires.
“The Minister’s laissez-faire approach towards Brexit is symptomatic of the Government’s failure to produce any plans for the sectors of the Irish economy which will be left most exposed to and affected by the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
“Irish tourism is heavily reliant on the connectivity between Dublin and Britain. Almost 4.5m people flew between Irish and British capitals last year, while the Dublin-London route remains the second busiest in the world. Minister Ross needs to recognise how crucial it is that Ireland minimises the possible implications from Brexit on our country’s main transport hub.
“Almost a year has passed since the British Referendum vote to leave the EU and it Minister Ross has not engaged with the relevant bodies to address their concerns and ensure that they are adequately equipped to deal with the many challenges ahead,” concluded O’Brien.