Ireland’s plans for a no-deal Brexit - the highlights

Plans under way to buy land and employ more staff for no-deal

Below are extracted highlights from the Government's document detailing plans for the a no-deal Brexit next March. The full document can be read here


At Dublin Port, the following requirements are being progressed by the OPW and provision is being made for infrastructure including:

  • 33 inspection bays for trucks coming off ships.
  • Parking for 270 trucks to ensure that trucks awaiting inspection do not halt other port traffic.
  • A dedicated Border Control Post (BCP) for live animals;
  • A public office with 8 counters/hatches and accommodation for staff;
  • Office accommodation for an additional 144 staff will be required within the port area; and a new traffic management system will be developed in conjunction with Dublin Port, to manage traffic to/from ferries.

At Rosslare Europort, provision is being made for infrastructure including:

  • 13 inspection bays for trucks coming off ships;
  • Parking for 35 trucks;
  • A dedicated BCP for live animals;
  • A public office with 6 counters / hatches and accommodation for staff.


Government has already sanctioned €4m for the commencement of a phased


process for the recruitment of additional staff to carry out the greatly increased volumes of import controls and export certification arising from Brexit. After launching a recruitment campaign in September 2018 and receiving over 3,000 applications, Revenue has indicated that it will have 200 new staff trained and in place by end-March 2019 and can further speed up the recruitment process to be ready for 29 March 2019.


If it is judged that a no deal Brexit is likely, it will probably be necessary to use all available parliamentary legislation time to deal with the necessary legislation. The Government Chief Whip has therefore also asked all Ministers to identify their non-Brexit legislation that is absolutely essential for enactment before the end of March 2019 so that the parliamentary schedule can be planned accordingly. The work on primary legislation will be complemented by responses in secondary legislation through the adoption of a range of Statutory Instruments. Primary legislation is likely to be required in the following areas:

  • Healthcare Arrangements
  • Health Insurance
  • Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction
  • European Investment Fund Agreement
  • Industrial Development
  • Single Electricity Market
  • Broadcasting
  • Student Support
  • Finance and Financial Services matters
  • European Parliament Elections
  • Housing Provision
  • European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans
  • and Programmes)
  • Data
  • International Protection
  • Railway Safety
  • Public Transport Regulation
  • Social Security
  • Protection of Employees (Employers' Insolvency)
  • Social Welfare
  • Copyright and Related Rights

Common Travel Area

Both the Government of Ireland and the UK Government have committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA) in all circumstances. Under the CTA, Irish and British citizens move freely and reside in either jurisdiction and enjoy associated reciprocal rights and privileges including access to:

  • employment
  • healthcare
  • education
  • social benefits
  • the right to vote in certain elections


The Commission has confirmed that it will propose measures, to ensure that air carriers from the UK can land in the EU and fly back to the UK (i.e. operate point to point flights) as well as measures to UK air carriers to fly over the territory of the EU and make technical stops (e.g. refuelling without embarkation/disembarkation of passengers). Those measures would be subject to the condition that the UK applies equivalent measures to air carriers from the EU.


In a no deal scenario it is anticipated that the landbridge, at least in the initial period, may be subject to severe delays. Dover-Calais has been identified as a particular bottle neck. This will have a knock on impact on goods travelling to/from Ireland and the rest of the single market. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport continues to engage with shipping companies to explore new connectivity and capacity options in response to Brexit.


To help businesses prepare for a new post-Brexit trading regime, Revenue has participated in a number of trade sector and Government organized Brexit preparedness events. Revenue has a dedicated Brexit portal on their website, which acts as a key support for trade. In order to intensify and extend engagement with the trade, Revenue have developed a comprehensive Trader Engagement Programme to assist trade in preparing for the impact of Brexit.

The target audience have been identified as the following three key groupings:

  • Logistic Companies
  • Large Economic Operators
  • Other Economic Operators


A number of issues are being examined and contingency planning for a range of eventualities is underway. A key issue will be to ensure that there is minimum disruption to health services and that essential services are maintained on a cross-Border, all-island and Ireland-UK basis. Priorities include ensuring continuity in the supply of medicines/medical devices, ensuring access to services, staffing in our health services, continuation of existing cross border health co-operation and public health arrangements.