Businesses, consumers and members of the public are being encouraged to visit the Government of Ireland’s Brexit Hub at this year’s National Ploughing Championships (NPC). The Hub, located in the Government of Ireland Village, will include stands, exhibitors and demonstrations providing a range of practical tips and information on how to prepare for Brexit, whether you are a businessperson or a consumer. With an expected attendance of a quarter of a million people, the NPC 2019 is seen as an important opportunity to engage directly with members of the public on the steps we can all take to be Brexit ready.
The Government of Ireland will have a significant presence at the NPC this year, with 150 Government Exhibitors in 19 marquees across 13,000sq metres. The Brexit Hub will encompass the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia, the Business and Employment: Welfare and Tax marquee and the Government of Ireland central marquee. Information and advice will be on hand about the practical steps we all can take to prepare for Brexit. Brexit Readiness workshops will take place every day, alongside panel discussions with Government Ministers and stakeholders. Staff from Government agencies and departments will available to answer your questions and provide factual information on the various Government supports and schemes which are available.
The Government has identified a number of sectors which have low levels of Brexit preparedness including smaller businesses who may not realise they are trading with the UK; construction businesses; manufacturing companies; agrifood businesses, particularly those in food production; retail particularly independent shops, and hardware stores who source products from or through the UK; and hauliers. The NPC provides an opportunity to engage directly with traders from these sectors.
In addition to the overarching focus on Brexit readiness, The Government of Ireland Village will also inform visitors about Project Ireland 2040 (particularly on increased investment planned under Budget 2019 to mitigate impacts of Brexit), on the Climate Action Plan, and on Ireland’s progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Minimising our Footprint
Sustainability is a central theme across the Government marquees at the NPC. Government Exhibitors will limit merchandise and only provide informational leaflets where necessary; all 700 bins of the full NPC site will feature Government of Ireland information from MyWaste on sorting and recycling on the AES waste signage; and a discount has been negotiated for visitors who bring keep cups for tea and coffee with Rumbles, the site vendor.
Events and Activities
Events and activities from a range of Government providers and Government funded organisations will also take place over the course of the 3 days. Highlights include daily Ceremonial Flag raising (09.30) and lowering (16.30) led by the Defence Forces, Quality Assurance Demonstrations by Bord Bia and the live creation of an artwork on Climate Change and Climate Action by Waterford Walls and Creative Ireland.
Visitors to The Village can enjoy book readings and stretching in the Health and Wellbeing marquee, dog training and life support practice sessions in the Community marquee, try out a virtual reality welding machine in the Learning marquee, explore an archive of local maps in the Property marquee and learn about our national gardens in the Visit marquee.
Children can play life-sized board-games in the Connectivity Marquee, take part in a Sustainable Development Goals treasure hunt or a flood defence Lego game in the Environment, Climate and Sustainability Marquee and explore an Ambassador’s office in the Global Ireland marquee.
Outdoor spaces across The Village will host equipment and interactive displays from the Defence Forces with armoured vehicles and virtual reality displays. Civil Defence will showcase equipment including drones and sonar underwater search. Visitors can head to the Road Safety Authority’s interactive shuttle and rollover simulator and then move onto the Mobile Library for a quiet break.
Notes to Editors
- The Government of Ireland marquee will host a series of events over the three days - including daily Brexit Readiness workshops, Ministerial panel discussions and discussions on topics such as Women in Sport. It will also act as an information hub for visitors on Government and The Village, including maps of The Village, in English and as Gaeilge. Signs across The Village and outside each marquee will also help visitors find what they need and who they want to talk to.
- The approximately 90 Government Exhibitors at 2018 NPC were dispersed over 42 different plots and marquees across the full 700 acre site, requiring visitors to actively seek out Government providers and know exactly who they needed to talk to in advance.
NOTES TO EDITORS: FURther informatIon ON BREXIT PLANNING
BREXIT PRESS RELEASES
NO DEAL BREXIT PLANNING
The Government prepared extensively for a no deal Brexit in advance of the 29 March and 12 April deadlines. Key measures included:
- Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2019 – the ‘Brexit Omnibus Act’, signed into law by the President on 17 March, focuses on protecting Irish citizens, assisting businesses and jobs, and securing ongoing access to essential services and products. The various Parts of this legislation, made up of 15 Parts relating to matters within the remits of 9 Ministers, are ready to be commenced as needed in the event of a no deal Brexit.
- Infrastructure, staffing and ICT systems at our ports and airports - sufficient infrastructure was put in place to manage the necessary checks and controls on East-West trade with the UK outside the EU.
Work at Dublin Port involved nine projects across eight sites to deliver 13 new inspection bays, documentary and identity check facilities, office facilities and parking for up to 128 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
400 additional Revenue staff recruited and trained for customs facilitation and checks; nearly 190 Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) staff trained and in place to conduct import controls; 59 additional Health Service Executive (HSE) staff trained and in place.
- EU contingency measures – Ireland worked with our EU partners to agree a range of temporary contingency measures in key areas at the EU level, including maintaining basic air connectivity and road haulage access between the EU and the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit.
- Business supports - a wide range of support programmes for enterprise and the agri-food sector have been developed and put in place, including the €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme and €300 million Future Growth Loan Scheme, Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit Scorecard, Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer and InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Vouchers. Specialised training for a number of areas including market diversification and customs were also rolled out across the country. For a full list of all the supports available see gov.ie/brexit > Brexit & Business.
- Extradition arrangements - workable alternative extradition arrangements under the 1957 Council of Europe Convention on Extradition were put in place for the event of a no deal Brexit, which would see the UK immediately fall outside the European Arrest Warrant process.
- Communications and stakeholder engagement – this has included over 100 Brexit information seminars and events since September 2018; a nationwide media information campaign and 750,000 leaflets distributed nationwide through 5,000 public outlets; 18 meetings of the Brexit Stakeholders Forum chaired by the Tánaiste; and five meetings of the All-Island Civic Dialogue.
- Financial and budgetary preparations - undertaken over three budgets to build the resilience of the economy, including the establishment of the Rainy Day Fund and investment in long-term economic development through Project Ireland 2040.
In addition, a high level Memorandum of Understanding on the Common Travel Area (CTA) that reaffirms the commitment of both Irish and British Governments to the CTA was signed on 8 May 2019. Under the CTA, which will be maintained in any scenario, Irish and British citizens can travel freely, move to live, work and study, and access services including healthcare and social benefits in either jurisdiction.
The period between now and the 31 October deadline for a possible no deal Brexit will be used to strengthen and refresh these preparations. Key areas for continued work include:
- Providing further additional infrastructure at ports and airports to enhance our capacity to manage the necessary checks and controls on goods coming from the UK as smoothly as possible.
- Preparing for Budget 2020 and making provision for targeted funding for the sectors most affected in the event of a no deal Brexit.
- A new phase of the Government’s Brexit communications campaign, which will include a call to action to businesses operating in exposed sectors to take the necessary steps to prepare for a no deal Brexit.
- Ongoing engagement with Member States and with the European Commission on key outstanding issues, including on potential supports for Ireland and affected sectors.
Contingency Planning: Sectors and Key Issues covered in Contingency Action Plan Update, July 2019
- EU-level Policy and Regulatory Response and Engagement
- Preparing our Ports and Airports
- Staffing and ICT for checks and controls
- Financial Services
- Common Travel Area
- Justice and Security
- Transport (Road, Rail and Sea)
- Trader Customs Requirements, Education and Supports
- Agri-Food and Fisheries
- Enterprise Supports
- Labour Force Activation and Training Supports
- Market Surveillance and Notified Bodies
- Retail (including online retail)
- Supply of Medicines and Medical Devices
- Transfer of Personal Data