Congress seeks softest possible Brexit
by Bernard Harbor

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has called on the Government to abandon plans for tax cuts, and instead earmark €500 million to deal with the possible fallout of a hard Brexit. In a briefing document published last week, ICTU says a British crash-out from the EU later this month would bring substantial job losses, food price hikes, and a dent in public finances.

The implications of a no-deal Brexit, ICTU’s fourth Brexit briefing, says fears of a hard Brexit have increased, but argues for the softest possible settlement between the UK and the EU.

“The best way to achieve this is to agree the closest possible relationship between the UK and the EU, ideally with the entire UK staying in the single market and the customs union. Only by achieving this can we ensure that jobs and citizens’ and workers’ rights are not negatively affected,” it says.

Meanwhile, Paschal Donohoe has said 400 extra customs staff will be recruited before the end of March to deal with a new Brexit customs scenario. And another 200 will come on stream soon after that. Speaking in the Dáil last week, the finance minister also said he would provide extra resources to Revenue if they were needed.

Last week, the chief executive of Dublin Port said the number of lorries travelling through Dublin from outside the EU would rise by 800,000 if there was a hard Brexit.

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