Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Simon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
The question probably needs a more detailed answer than I will be allowed to give now. At the start of the week, the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, gave a very detailed statement on the predicted financial impact on the Irish Exchequer of a no-deal Brexit. What he clearly indicated is we will need to borrow money in that instance. We may well have to dip into a rainy day fund and we will have to work in partnership with the European Commission to protect vulnerable sectors that are exposed in the context of a no-deal Brexit and the type of tariff regime that could be imposed, as we saw this morning.
To simplify this into a Brexit stabilisation fund out of which all of those sectors will pull is probably to oversimplify it. What will happen instead is the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will negotiate with the key Departments packages that are necessary for their sectors, particularly agriculture. The Minister, Deputy Creed, is sitting beside me and I know the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has, for a number of weeks, been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on how this would work.