Govt Brexit Contingency Plan Reveals 'Shocking Lack Of Preparedness'

The government's Brexit contingency plans fail to protect Ireland's economy and avoiding a hard border, and reveal a "shocking lack of Brexit preparedness", Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson David Cullinane has said.

Deputy Cullinane said that in the context of a hard crash by Britain out of the European Union the holding of a border poll is the best way avoid a hard border and protect the all-Island economy.

Deputy Cullinane said: "The government needs to protect the all-island economy and avoid a hard border in the event of a no-deal Brexit yet its contingency plans have failed on both of these crucial points.

"It is incredible that apart from buying a bit of land in the docklands and hiring more officers, the Irish government has devolved all responsibility for dealing with a no-deal Brexit to the EU Commission.

"It has also purposefully avoided dealing with the prospect of a hard border on the island.

"With no plans in place to avoid a hard border it is all the more likely of course that a hard border is what we will get.

"The north cannot be used as a bargaining chip - no matter what type of Brexit arrives.

"If politicians in Britain recklessly allow a no deal, hard crash outcome then the holding of a border poll must be brought forward as the people North and South will have a clear choice - a hard border or a United Ireland.

"In such a scenario a United Ireland will be the only logical and practical solution long-term to a no-deal Brexit. 

"Similarly the government has to be able to intervene and support the industries and regions most affected by Brexit.

"This means putting in place actual contingency plans for our agri-food and transport sectors, as well as the border counties and the south east.

"Yet this type of practical response has been all but ruled out by the Irish government as it sticks to the 'one-size-fits-all' approach of the EU.

"The EU has said that there will be no special responses from member states, and nothing on the backstop.

"The Irish government, in this document, agrees with that - despite the fact that it works against the interests of the people of Ireland.

"This document ignores completely the fact that we have an all-island economy.

"There is very little here that will mitigate the damage a no-deal scenario will do to that economy.

"There will be checks on the movement of cattle and other agri-goods.

"It is unclear whether cross-border bus routes will continue - it is even unclear as to whether Translink train drivers will be able to work on the Enterprise.

"Most shocking of all is the fact that the Irish government will not meet until January 3rd to discuss any of this.

"It is incredible that cabinet ministers will not discuss with each other how to prepare for a hard Brexit for another two weeks. Clearly the Government is not adequately prepared for a no deal scenario."

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