Thursday, 15 October 2020
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
The negotiations are ongoing. We do not accept any artificial deadline and negotiations will continue between the European Union and the UK on a free trade agreement. Preparations largely led by my Department are being made to prepare businesses for the changes that will take place no matter what on 1 January when the UK leaves the Single Market and the customs union. I wrote to every business - all one quarter of a million of them - personally last week setting out exactly what they need to do to prepare for the changes and how they can get advice and financial support from Government to do so.
No preparations are being made for a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland because there will not be one. No preparations are being made in that regard. If, however, the UK leaves the Single Market and customs union without a free trade agreement, then we will trade with Britain on WTO terms.