Complacency of Noonan on Brexit and Trump typical of a do-nothing government- Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the complacency reflected in Michael Noonan’s comments today that the Brexit process could take up to six years and that Ireland has nothing to worry about with regard to President Trump’s tax plans are typical of a do-nothing government.
He said any gap between Brexit and a trade deal could be very serious for Irish exporters as by default WTO tariffs would apply.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Minister Noonan’s comments today are complacent and that is typical of a do-nothing government that is not up for the challenge of Brexit or the changed US attitude. Ireland can’t afford a laid back government planning on the basis of forecasts based on wishful thinking.
“Brexit is a massive and immediate challenge to the country, north and south, not something to be shrugged away as being far away. This complacency was seen last week when the Department of Finance were unprepared for the Finance Committee’s questions about Brexit.
“If the Minister is suggesting that Brexit will take place in two years but a trade deal won’t be in place for six years then Irish exporters are looking at a four year gap where WTO tariff could apply at up to 50% on meat exported to Britain, then that is a very serious concern.
“We cannot afford to sleepwalk into an uncertain future. Public opinion knows that Brexit is a huge challenge. Almost every week we have new projections as to the potential damage it might bring especially in light of Theresa May’s hard line approach. Yet Michael Noonan seems happy to operate on the basis that it might never happen. It is happening and the Minister’s and government’s job is to prepare for it, not wish it away.”