Government’s Response to Brexit Microscopic Compared to Threat - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has stated that “on the eve of the original Brexit date the government’s Brexit response is microscopic compared to the threat”.
“In the north of Ireland there is no urgency in lifting the shutters on Stormont. Food, housing and heath poverty is increasing in the North. The northern economy is languishing; there is no focus on how to replace the hundreds of millions of pounds in lost CAP funds for farmers. And shockingly, all through this, Stormont is in stalemate.
“The DUP are the only party in power in the North through the Confidence and Supply agreement. There is little incentive for them to join the Executive. Clearly the London and Dublin government must create an incentive for this to happen. Aontú believes that the ministerial seats must be filled in the north in order to make vital bread and butter decisions. If they are not filled by the DUP, they should be filled through Joint Authority now.
“In the South the government have been at sixes and sevens on whether or not there would be a hard border in a no deal Brexit. They are leaving it incredibly late to make up their minds. They have announced a loan scheme, a number of voucher schemes, some low level funding, a diary of government preparation events, public meetings around the country, a website with online courses and a series of information talks.
“This week the ESRI forecasted 80,000 lost jobs and the €100 billion in National Income lost over 10 years. This is an unpresented shock to the economy. There is a mismatch between the scale of the threat and the government response. Bizarrely in the same week as Brexit was to happen, Leo Varadkar promised billions of euro in income tax cuts over those same years.
“A threat of this magnitude demands a New Deal for families, business and farmers. Now is the time to tackle the costs in housing and commercial property, in insurance, in congestion, in rates, in credit and in business rates. Now is the time to tackle the massive infrastructure gaps. Now is the time to focus on ports such as Rosslare, Cork, Waterford and Drogheda. Now is the time to strengthen cross border infrastructure such as the Dublin to Derry Motorway and the City of Derry Airport. Now is the time to systematically seek convergence north and south in enterprise, trade, education and health.”