Brexit Contingency Action Plan
Publication of Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update, 9 July 2019
The Government today announced further steps in its ongoing Brexit contingency and preparedness work, recognising that there is now a significant risk of a no deal Brexit on 31 October. The Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update published today reflects the extensive whole-of-Government and EU level work which has already taken place, as well as the additional work that will happen between now and 31 October.
The consequences of a no deal Brexit will be profound, including macroeconomic, trade and sectoral challenges. It will also have implications for trade on the island of Ireland, North and South cooperation and will pose risks for the Good Friday Agreement and political stability. It could have lasting societal impacts for Northern Ireland.
While the Government’s extensive preparedness and contingency efforts will help mitigate the negative effects of Brexit, a no deal Brexit will be highly disruptive. In such a scenario, it will be impossible for the UK to maintain the current seamless arrangements with the EU across the full range of sectors and this will have knock-on consequences for Ireland.
For the time between now and 31 October, the Action Plan emphasises the need for stepped up preparedness measures, by exposed businesses in particular. Citizens and businesses cannot assume that because a no deal Brexit was averted in March and April that the same will happen in October – the need for prudent preparations is more pressing than ever. Key areas for continued work will include preparing for Budget 2020, additional infrastructure for ports and airports, and a new phase of the Government’s Brexit communications including an intensified engagement programme by Revenue, focussed on individual businesses and including targeted letters and follow-up phone calls.
Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019
General Scheme of the Miscellaneous Provisions Bill
While the focus remains on securing an orderly and agreed Brexit, the Government’s Contingency Action Plan recognises that a no deal Brexit would pose unique and unprecedented challenges for the UK, as well as for the EU, including Ireland. Brexit of any kind will mean change and managing a no deal Brexit would particularly be an exercise in damage limitation. It would be impossible in a no deal scenario to maintain the current seamless arrangements between the EU and UK across a full range of sectors, which is currently facilitated by our common EU membership.
As part of the overall no deal preparations, The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has obtained Government’s approval to the preparation of the Miscellaneous Provisions (Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 29 March 2019) Bill 2019. This single omnibus Bill is made up of 17 parts prepared by 9 Ministers. Each part will be commenced by the individual Minister at the appropriate time.
Contingency Action Plan
The Government has published a Contingency Action Plan, setting out its approach to dealing with a no deal Brexit. This is the culmination of many months of work. This work continues both at a national and EU level and further information on no deal preparedness will follow in January and February.
The Government and the EU remain committed to securing a negotiated outcome. However, that has not yet been achieved and we are now less than 100 days away from the UK withdrawal from the EU.
Contingency preparations for a “no deal” outcome must therefore be intensified as the risk of a disorderly Brexit increases, posing unique and unprecedented challenges.
On December 19, the European Commission published a Communication on Implementing its Contingency Action Plan, setting out measures, including legislative proposals, which it considers necessary to mitigate the most severe consequences of a “no deal” Brexit at EU level.
It is against this backdrop that the Government is presenting its assessment of the challenges and the measures considered essential to limit the damage of a “no deal” exit and to put in place measures to manage that exit as best as possible.
The Government’s overall objectives have been consistent from the start – seeking to minimise the impact on trade and the economy, protecting the peace process including avoiding a hard border, maintaining the Common Travel Area and reinforcing commitment to and participation in the EU. They continue to guide our approach, regardless of the type of Brexit we end up with.
The Government’s approach combines full participation in the overall EU framework for managing a no deal outcome with further specific challenges and responses at national level.
The detailed documentation published today sets out the Government’s analysis of a “no deal” Brexit under a number of important headings.
Economic and fiscal impact:
- Northern Ireland and North-South relations;
- Relations with Great Britain;
- Sectoral analyses.
Specific actions identified in the Government’s analysis include:
Procurement of additional space and facilities at ports and airports to accommodate the significant increase in checks and procedures that will be required;
- Acceleration of recruitment and redeployment of customs and agriculture officers to be in place as needed to carry out these checks and procedures;
- Confirmation of 45 legislative changes that may be required and arrangements for urgent drafting;
- Preparation for accelerated or emergency procedures in the Oireachtas to ensure timely enactment of necessary legislation;
- Identification of a range of areas where further engagement with the European Commission and other Member States will be required, as part of the evolving response at EU level;
- Continued participation in all relevant EU fora and preparatory processes, which has thus far led to publication of 78 separate stakeholder notices to assist businesses and citizens;
- Further assessment of possible emergency measures that may be required in critical areas of medicines and food supply;
- Ensuring full continued application of the Common Travel Area, including the associated freedom of movement and access to public services for citizens;
- Continuation of the Government’s extensive programme of stakeholder engagement;
- Continuation of the Government’s national and regional communications campaign “Getting Brexit Ready” with a greater focus on a “no deal” Brexit.
Read the full Brexit Contingency Action Plan