Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
173. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the preparations made in his Department in the event of no agreement being reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the terms of the UK's exit from the EU; if such preparations involve the drawing up of detailed and specific contingency plans in the event of a hard Brexit and a trade regime based on WTO tariffs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48782/17]
As the Deputy will be aware, the Government is adopting a whole-of-Government approach to Brexit which is being led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade. Work at Cabinet level is being prepared through a range of cross-Departmental coordination structures. These represent a frequent and active channel through which all relevant Departments are providing their research, analysis and overall policy input to the Government’s wider response to Brexit, including its priorities for the ongoing Article 50 negotiations between the EU and the UK.
As the outcome of the negotiations is not yet known, an important focus of the planning and preparation being undertaken through these structures is on deepening the Government’s analysis and understanding of the exact consequences of a range of different possible scenarios. This represents an intensification of efforts to build on the Government's contingency planning.
The Department of Public Expenditure has responsibility for a number of EU issues which will be impacted by Brexit, most notably our EU-funded cross-border programmes with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and also issues relating to public procurement. Through its Brexit Unit it is actively contributing to the contingency planning for a range of scenarios that is underway led by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.