Continuing work across Government to prepare for all eventualities.
Four times in our history we decided as a country to take a different road to the United Kingdom. We did it in 1921, when we became independent and we were the first country to leave the Empire. We did it in 1948, when we became a Republic. We did it again in 1979 when we broke the link with sterling and floated our own currency. And then we did it again in 2001 when we joined the Euro without Britain. While there were challenges, on every occasion we overcame them and emerged stronger and more prosperous as a result, and we approach the challenge of Brexit with the same spirit.
We are continuing extensive and detailed Brexit preparedness and contingency planning across all Government Departments and Agencies, measures taken to date include:
- A single, comprehensive Brexit Omnibus Bill will prepare Ireland for some of the impact of a No Deal situation should it arise. The Bill, currently progressing through the Oireachtas, is focused on protecting our citizens, on supporting the economy and jobs, particularly in key economic sectors most exposed to Brexit.
- Our Contingency Action Plan, published on 19 December 2018, sets out comprehensive, cross-Government preparations that have been in place since even before the Brexit vote. This work continues at both a national and EU level.
- Getting Ireland Brexit Ready, a public information campaign was launched September. Over 2,500 people have attended public outreach events held throughout October and November 2018 in Cork, Galway, Monaghan, Dublin, Limerick and Letterkenny with strong participation from the business community.
- We have already taken actions to get Ireland Brexit ready, with dedicated measures announced in Budgets 2017, 2018 and 2019, for example:
- The Future Growth Loan Scheme, to support strategic capital investment for a post-Brexit environment by business at competitive rates, for terms of 8-10 years.
- €300m Brexit Loan Scheme for Business.
- Budget 2019 also included an allocation of €115m for Brexit measures across a number of Departments.
- Increased funding to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has already provided for the opening of 13 new diplomatic missions as part of Global Ireland 2025.
- The funding provided to Departments in Budget 2019 includes a €78m package for farmers, fishermen, food SMEs and to cover additional costs related to Brexit.