Thursday 23 November 2017

Martin: Leave supporters are 'making it up as they go along'

Micheál Martin: Campaigners ‘making it up as they go along’. Photo: Arthur Carron
Micheál Martin: Campaigners ‘making it up as they go along’. Photo: Arthur Carron
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Micheál Martin has slammed the British government's response to Brexit as "shambolic" - accusing the ministers responsible of being "cavalier and grossly irresponsible".

He claimed the likes of Boris Johnson and David Davis - who campaigned for a Leave vote - "have been making it up as they go along".

He said they want to keep "the good bits" of European Union membership and "dump everything they don't like".

Mr Martin said Brexit is "already hurting" Ireland and that the fall of Sterling is undermining Irish exports and putting jobs at risk.

The Fianna Fáil leader has suggested to Taoiseach Enda Kenny that a Brexit minister be appointed and said he still thinks this is the correct thing to do. Mr Kenny has already indicated he won't do this, saying the issue is "too serious" to be dealt with by one minister.

Mr Martin also responded to the reports that Britain's biggest banks are preparing to relocate out of the UK in early 2017, saying this represents "opportunities" for Ireland.

The head of the Irish Stock Exchange, Deirdre Somers, last week raised concern that she wasn't aware of a co-ordinated plan for Ireland to capitalise on Brexit.

Junior finance minister Eoghan Murphy has insisted the Government does have a strategy for financial services, but said it's "constantly evolving" as Brexit is "a moving target".

Almost €140,000 was allocated to the Finance Department in additional funding for travel and subsistence in Budget 2017, with most of this to be used in the context of a Government plan to create thousands of jobs in the financial services sector.

Mr Murphy said the IFS2020 plan is being redesigned for Brexit and that he will travel to London, China and Japan next year in a bid to lure more financial services jobs here. He said he will meet face-to-face with senior decision makers at global banks.

Irish Independent

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