Since the shock Brexit result of last summer, Deputy Broughan has raised Ireland’s ‘readiness’ for the aftermath on many occasions in Dáil Éireann, in particular with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Most recently, Deputy Broughan asked Minister Mitchell O’Connor the number of requests her department had received from either IDA Ireland and or Enterprise Ireland since Brexit for permission to employ additional staff; the number of requests received, the number that were approved, pending or refused; and for a statement on the matter.

A reply to this Parliamentary Question received by Deputy Broughan’s office today stated that “an additional €3 million pay allocation” had been secured to assist the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation “and its Agencies to respond to the challenges associated with Brexit. Each Agency’s pay ceiling also allows for some flexibility in re-aligning staffing resources to manage emerging challenges and priorities, such as those related to Brexit.” The Minister confirmed that “IDA Ireland has identified an immediate requirement for an additional ten client-facing posts to assist the Agency in capitalising on opportunities that may arise on account of Brexit. The IDA has received €750,000 of the €3 million Brexit allocation to support the recruitment of the personnel required for these additional posts.”

The reply also stated that “Enterprise Ireland sought sanction to recruit an extra 39 posts as part of its strategic response to Brexit. This request has been approved. These posts will be created in a number of Enterprise Ireland’s overseas offices and in the Irish based team and will be focused on intensifying work with clients to maintain and grow their UK exports and extend their reach into international markets. The new roles will also help to reinforce the competitiveness of clients by working with them to strengthen their productivity, innovation and management capabilities”.

Deputy Broughan says “I asked the Taoiseach on a number of occasions to appoint a Minister for Brexit to oversee the whole Government’s response to what is sure to be the greatest economic threat to Ireland for generations. In the absence of one responsible Minister, I have been focussing my concerns on the Department of Jobs and while I feel that the Taoiseach’s response to Brexit has been decidedly underwhelming to say the least, I do welcome confirmation from Minister Mitchell O’Connor that both the IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland are recruiting additional staff to deal directly with the challenges and indeed opportunities posed by a ‘hard’ Brexit as confirmed by Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday.”