Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that yesterday’s Budget emphasises the need for a Minister to be appointed to deal with Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Deputy O’Brien commented, “Yesterday’s Budget underscored the seriousness of Brexit and the threat it poses to Ireland. The Government is showing tokenism in light of the greatest threat to Ireland’s economy for many decades.
“It is as though Minister Noonan has just labelled a number of small outlying budgetary items as “Brexit” and claims that it represents an actual plan.
“There is an immediate need to appoint a Minister dedicated to dealing with the implications of Brexit and who can drive and co-ordinate a properly financed plan to prepare for Britain’s exit.
“The Government has been tardy in its response to date and needs to do more. We can ill afford to prepare for an event that is going to have such a significant impact on Ireland more so than any other member state in the EU.
“Ireland and the UK exchange €1.2bn worth of goods and services weekly; 14% of Irish goods and services are exported to the UK and 30% of all employment is in sectors which are heavily related to UK exports. Thousands of jobs could be in jeopardy if we do not have a pertinent plan in place.
“We were told that this Budget was going to be ‘Brexit Proofed’ but this is not the case. This Budget presented an opportunity to react appropriately to the potential dangers.
“What has been put forward in this Budget is an abysmal response to a real economic threat and more must be done before Article 50 is invoked by the British government next March”.