Tuesday 22 January 2019

Emergency Brexit plan being drafted for Irish residents receiving British pension payments

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Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Emergency legislation is being drafted to ensure people living in Ireland who receive a British state pension are not impacted by the UK crashing out of the European Union.

Senior civil servants are also drafting legislation which would ensure British-based pensioners who receive the Irish state pension do not lose out in a no-deal Brexit scenario. More than 135,000 people living in Ireland receive the British state pension.

Pension payments are just one area of legislation identified during a root-and-branch trawl of all legislation as part of the Government's contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.

Government departments were told last week to cancel plans for any non-essential legislation and to focus on Brexit preparations.

The areas where emergency legislation will be needed have been identified and it is hoped the necessary legal work will be completed early in the new year.

The legislation will be voted on in the Dail in the first three months of the year if British Prime Minister Theresa May cannot convince the UK parliament to accept the Brexit withdrawal deal which she reached with her EU counterparts.

The Common Travel Area, which entitles Irish and British citizens to live, work and access services across both islands, will be maintained even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Government officials believe the Common Travel Area will make it easier for Ireland to draft emergency legislation compared to its counterparts in other European countries where there are no individual arrangements with Britain.

The Cabinet has been discussing contingency plans since July but preparations were ramped up last week after Mrs May called off a vote on her Brexit deal.

The Government and the EU will publish new details of their Brexit preparations this week as fears over the possibility of Britain crashing out of the EU heighten.

Irish government officials have held talks with their counterparts in France and Amsterdam on trade routes after Brexit. Supply chain specialists have been working with all the major retailers in anticipation of delays at UK ports and airports.

Writing in today's Sunday Independent, Business and Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys tells companies to "be alert to your supply chains and any possible disruption that might arise" from Brexit. She also says other trade routes should be identified.

Sunday Independent

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