The Irish Government has announced further steps in its ongoing Brexit contingency and preparedness work, recognising that there is now a significant risk of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. The Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update reflects the extensive whole-of-Government and EU-level work that has already taken place, as well as the additional work that will happen between now and 31 October.
The consequences of a no-deal Brexit will be profound, including macroeconomic, trade and sectoral challenges. It will also have implications for trade on the island of Ireland, North and South cooperation and will pose risks for the Good Friday Agreement and political stability. It could have lasting societal impacts for Northern Ireland.
While the Government's extensive preparedness and contingency efforts will help mitigate the negative effects of Brexit, a no-deal Brexit will be highly disruptive. In such a scenario, it will be impossible for the UK to maintain the current seamless arrangements with the EU across the full range of sectors and this will have knock-on consequences for Ireland.
For the time between now and 31 October, the Action Plan emphasises the need for stepped-up preparedness measures, by exposed businesses in particular. Citizens and businesses cannot assume that because a no-deal Brexit was averted in March and April that the same will happen in October – the need for prudent preparations is more pressing than ever. Key areas for continued work will include preparing for Budget 2020, additional infrastructure for ports and airports, and a new phase of the Government's Brexit communications including an intensified engagement programme by Revenue, focused on individual businesses and including targeted letters and follow-up phone calls.