The Government this morning (Friday 22nd Feb 2019) published the ‘Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019’.
The landmark piece of legislation crosses the remit of nine government Ministers and is made up of 15 parts to prepare Ireland for a disorderly Brexit.
This Omnibus Bill focuses on protecting Irish citizens, supporting businesses and jobs, and securing ongoing access to essential services and products.
Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, said, “Our focus remains on the UK ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement, which was concluded following intensive negotiations between the UK and the EU. However, for the last two years we have also been preparing for the possibility that the UK leaves the EU without an agreement. We are doing all we can to avoid a no deal scenario, but we need to be ready in case it does happen. This special law enables us to mitigate against some of the worst effects of no deal by protecting citizens’ rights, security, and facilitating extra supports for vulnerable businesses and employers.”
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, launched the Bill alongside Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee TD.
The Tánaiste said the legislation compliments EU action that will be taken in the event of a disorderly Brexit, “A no deal Brexit will be a major shock for the Irish economy and the most important contingency we have is remaining a member of the EU with all of the security and support that will bring.”
“This legislation is the product of a root and branch trawl of our laws to determine what changes will be needed if the UK becomes a third country overnight. It is the painstaking work of our teams across the whole of government and I want to thank them for that.”
In recognition of the importance, breadth and scope of the Bill, the Government will work closely with all members of the Oireachtas to ensure it passes through the Houses of the Oireachtas in a timely fashion.
Minister McEntee said, “Protecting Ireland from Brexit crosses party lines and I’m certain the Oireachtas will put its shoulder to the wheel to get this legislation passed. We have the time and determination to do it.”