Ireland today announced details of what it said is its contingency plan to deal with Britain’s decision to leave the EU
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said:
“The result of the Referendum means that the people of the UK have declared their wish to leave the EU. It is important to be clear: the UK has not actually left the EU. Until it formally withdraws from the Union, the UK remains a full Member, with all of its existing rights and obligations.
“Today’s result marks the beginning of a new phase of negotiated withdrawal – one that is expected to take place over at least two years and possibly longer.
Businesses can continue to trade as normal and people can continue to travel as normal between Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland.
“In the meantime, the Government has adopted an initial Contingency Framework to map out the key issues that will be most important to Ireland in the coming weeks and months. This will be an iterative process as issues emerge and recede in the course of negotiations.”
The Irish government said the Contingency Framework is being coordinated by the Department of the Taoiseach “based on preparations over many months” including submissions by Government Departments to identify the key strategic and sectoral issues arising from the UK disengaging with the EU.
It said the framework will ensure that the Government and its constituent Departments are able to focus on key policy areas/issues to be addressed in any exit negotiations with a view to minimising potential operational risks likely to arise.
It said priorities for Ireland will be:
- UK-EU Negotiations
- British-Irish Relations
- Northern Ireland
- Trade, Investment
- North-South Border Impacts
- Competitiveness and Macro–economic issues, Research/Innovation funding
Download a full copy of the Contingency Framework Summary here: www.merrionstreet.ie
“It is important to recall that Ireland – as a committed Member State of the EU – will work within the EU context. At the same time, Ireland has unique bilateral interests with the UK, including with regard to Northern Ireland, and the Government will also have to work bilaterally in close contact with the UK Government and the devolved Administration in Northern Ireland,” said the Irish government.
“A number of existing structures are in place and will be used to manage the process on a whole-of-government basis: · the Cabinet Committee on EU Affairs and the Senior Officials Group that supports it and the joint UK Permanent Secretaries/ Irish Secretaries General group and its North-South equivalent.
“A senior official in every Government Department has already been identified to oversee this issue.”
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Volatility and uncertainty will be the order of the day for the short to medium term, certainly for those of us working and living in the UK.