Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
447. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 527 of 4 December 2018 and the UK Government’s decision to defer the House of Commons vote on the European Commission’s draft withdrawal agreement with the UK and President of the European Council’s confirmation that preparedness for a no-deal scenario is being discussed, the number of sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, and fisheries control officials who will be operational on 29 March 2019, if he does not have this information, the reason he cannot provide it; and the number of SPS staff who will be operational on 1 January 2019, 31 January 2019 and 28 February 2019. [53644/18]
The Department is currently engaged in an on-going exercise to identify the resources and processes required to meet our obligations arising from Brexit. This is a challenging exercise due to the prevailing uncertainty around the negotiations and the numerous scenarios that may pertain post Brexit.
Our assessment of staff requirements is focusing on three key aspects of Brexit, namely, Import Controls, Export Controls and logistics. The Department is working closely with our colleagues across the Public Sector as part of the whole of Government approach to preparations for Brexit.
Additional resources will be focussed on facilitating both Brexit preparation and key initial staffing requirements regarding implementation by the Department of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks at point of import.
The Department will continuously assess resource requirements as the negotiations progress and as the European Commission clarifies issues.