Sunday 18 August 2019

Hogan: We are not prepared for Brexit challenge

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters/Francois
EU Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Reuters/Francois

Niall O'Connor

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has voiced serious doubt over whether Ireland is doing enough to prepare for the "mammoth challenge" likely to be caused by Brexit.

Mr Hogan also suggested the Government should be allocating more "resources" to Brussels ahead of the expected triggering of Article 50.

"But there also needs to be a greater urgency in Dublin to reflect that once the British trigger Article 50, the centre of power and influence on Brexit will move irrevocably away from London to Brussels," Mr Hogan said.

"It's in Brussels that the deal will be done, and this is where Ireland's main strategic focus must be.

"I'm not convinced that Ireland is as yet allocating the necessary resources to Brussels to deal with this mammoth challenge."

Addressing the Association of European Journalists in Dublin, Mr Hogan had harsh words for the British government.

Six months on from the Brexit vote, Mr Hogan said, it is "painfully obvious" that there is still no clear vision in terms of moving forward.

"(Brexit minister) David Davis has said the UK would consider the 'Norway model', which means making contributions to the EU budget in exchange for access to the single market," Mr Hogan told the event.

"This is in stark contrast to those favouring a 'Hard Brexit', such as (foreign secretary) Boris Johnson who always seems to believe passionately in whatever he's saying at any given time.

"Meanwhile, (Prime Minister) Theresa May hides her views on Brexit behind a barricade of clichés."

Mr Hogan said that member states can be assured by UK chancellor Philip Hammond, who he said wants to maintain access to the single market.

"However, his is often a lonely voice," Mr Hogan said at the event.

The ex-Fine Gael minister and TD for Kilkenny/Carlow also said London is showing scant regard for the North.

"Regrettably, the Northern Irish peace process and the existing Border arrangements on the island of Ireland seem to get scant attention in London," Mr Hogan said.

Irish Independent

Also in Business