INDUSTRY URGED TO BE BREXIT READY
The Taoiseach has urged those involved in the construction industry to focus on preparing for Brexit. Addressing the annual conference of the CIF which is taking place online this year, Micheál Martin said change and challenges are coming regardless of the outcome of the negotiations on a trade deal between the UK and EU.
“The end of the transition period in less than three months’ time will bring substantial challenges and change for supply chains and trade flows with new checks and controls required to trade with and through Great Britain,” he said.
“To be clear, this will happen regardless of the outcome of the European Union and United Kingdom’s future relationship negotiations, as from January 1, the UK will be outside the single market and customs union,” he added.
According to an RTE report, Mr Martin also said the Government is very aware of the impact the changes will have on businesses including those in the construction sector, but said the Government is taking action. He said significant progress has been made in putting in place the necessary infrastructure at ports and airports to minimise disruption.
“We need businesses to make sure they now undertake the same level of preparations to be ready,” he told delegates.
“I want to take the opportunity of this conference to urge you all to take that message back and amplify it to your company, your customers, your associations and your organisations to ensure that come January 1 you as a sector, we as a nation, are ready for Brexit.”
The Taoiseach also asked those watching to redouble their efforts to implement Covid-19 protocols across the construction sector. Mr Martin said that everyone must remain vigilant and avoid any complacency that may creep in. “We’ve come a long way and many construction sites are operating again while adhering to adapted health and safety practices,” he said. “But the country is still operating in exceptionally challenging times,” he stated.
Mr Martin said a robust construction sector is fundamental to getting the country back on track. “Given the present economic uncertainty in preparing Budget 2021 we will assume that the economy and broader society will have to co-exist with the virus next year,” he said. “We will establish a Recovery Fund as envisaged in the Programme for Government and we will publish a National Economic Plan in November which will set out our longer term priorities and objectives to move us towards a resilient balanced sustainable economy,” the Taoiseach said.
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine