Publication of Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update

9th 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.

Speaking after Cabinet, the Tánaiste said: 

“A no deal Brexit will have really stark and wide-ranging effects. All government departments and State agencies are working non-stop to prepare the country and limit the damage if Britain decides to leave the EU without agreement. In a no deal the EU and Ireland maintain twin objectives of no hard border and protecting the Single Market and Ireland’s place in it. However no deal will have devastating effects on the all island economy.”

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe stated:

“Ongoing work at Government level will include preparing for Budget 2020 and additional infrastructure for ports and airports. At each of the three locations – Dublin Port, Rosslare Europort and Dublin Airport – sufficient temporary facilities were in place at the end of March in the event that the UK had left with no-deal. Nevertheless, work will continue as required during the period of the Article 50 extension and Government’s Brexit communications will intensify. Our Revenue engagement programme will increase their focus on individual businesses with targeted letters and follow-up phone calls. It is only by Government, business and citizens working together nationally and with our EU partners that we can aim to mitigate, as far as possible, the impacts of a no deal Brexit, should that happen, and ensure that we are as prepared as we can be for the changes it will bring.”

Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee stated:

“With just 114 days out from the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and following the publication of the Government’s Contingency Action Plan Update I am urging those who have not already engaged to do so as a no-deal outcome as it is a significant possibility. The risks of a no-deal Brexit are extremely serious and will have a hugely negative impact on people’s lives across the country.  It is important for people and businesses to take practical measures to avoid the worst effects of Brexit.  To find out more information on what steps you can take to prepare for a no-deal Brexit make sure to visit”