Tanaiste tells Sligo audience not to be naive about Brexit

Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney told an audience in Sligo last night that the government will be publishing legislation this morning to deal with some of the many practical issues that arise from Brexit.

Mr Coveney was in IT Sligo to deliver a speech during a discussion event organised by Fine Gael Councillor and general election candidate, Sinead Maguire.

The Aurivo Auditorium in IT Sligo was packed for the event which was addressed by Mr Coveney and a panel which included Damian McDonald, director general of the IFA; Oonagh Monahan, business development consultant and facilitator of the Sligo Women in Business Network; Aidan Flynn, general manager of the Freight Transport Association of Ireland; and Aaron Forde, CEO of Aurivo.

There’s now just over 30 days left until Britain is expected to leave the EU.

Mr Coveney outlined how government legislation to be published this morning is aimed at protecting people from a number of threats that could materialise in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

He said that legislation would protect cross-border healthcare, it would make sure students in Britain and Ireland can go to each others’ schools and be grant-aided to do so.

It would allow something as simple as train travel continue between Dublin and Belfast and ensure British people in Ireland and Irish people in the UK can get pensions and 21 different social welfare payments.

Although he believes a Brexit deal will eventually be struck, he said anyone who thinks Brexit is a theoretical problem needs to wake up and realise that every house and business will be impacted in a negative way.

In an interview with Ocean FM News, he explained what he meant by describing the situation as ‘a potential national emergency.’

Mr Coveney also said the government would never agree to putting border infrastructure on the island, describing some suggestions about border control technology as ‘pie in the sky.’