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Contingency plans for hard Brexit under way - but details under wraps



Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney

THE Government is ramping up preparations for a cliff-edge Brexit but is keeping many details under wraps for the moment. Here is what we know so far:

Customs officials

Recruitment of revenue officials is being accelerated to ready Ireland's ports and airports for a crash-out Brexit. Additional revenue officials will be needed to deal with increased checks east-west and it is estimated 600 extra officials will be needed by the end of the transition period of 2020. Veterinary and SPS inspectors are also required. Upgrades are also being carried out on the IT infrastructure.

Ports and airports

Plans are being progressed for additional infrastructure at ports and airports which will be required if Britain crashes out next March.

Emergency legislation

All Government departments have been examining emergency legislation that will be needed in the event of a cliff-edge Brexit. The Taoiseach has told the Dáil some changes will be as simple as adding a reference to the United Kingdom in existing laws or to make exceptions for the UK in certain circumstances. However, in other cases new legislation will be needed.

EU planning

Much of Ireland's contingency plans will need to be done in tandem with the European Union and the European Commission is leading work on various areas such as agriculture, aviation and fisheries. The plans from Brussels will not be finalised until the middle of January when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he will have no problem making them available.

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