Kilkenny politician warns businesses: ‘Prepare for a no-deal Brexit’
A KILKENNY councillor and general election candidate has urged local businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
The likelihood of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal grew significantly this evening after British Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal was defeated in the House of Commons for a third time.
A no-deal Brexit would have a potentially devastating impact on the local economy, with locally based farmers, the food producing sector and companies that rely heavily on UK exports among the most vulnerable.
Responding to the latest developments from London, Cllr Patrick O’Neill (pictured below) urged all local businesses to ensure they are as prepared as possible and to avail of recently announced Government supports.
Cllr O’Neill, who was recently added to the Fine Gael ticket to contest the next General Election in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency, told KilkennyNow.ie: “These are extremely volatile times for the economy, and today’s vote in Westminster has increased the likelihood of a no deal Brexit on April 12. I am urging all businesses to ensure they are as prepared as possible in the event of a no-deal fall out.
“I would urge them to ensure they make the most of the Government supports that have been announced recently such as the Brexit Loan Scheme if the need arises.”
He added: “It’s important now that our Taoiseach and other European leaders put all no-deal backdrops in place and be ready to be mobilised should a no deal come to fruition.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this evening warned that it’s up to the UK to say how it will avoid a no-deal Brexit, which he admits is now a “growing possibility”.
Mr Varadkar said: “It is now up to the UK to indicate how it plans to proceed in order to avoid a No Deal scenario. The European Council has agreed unanimously that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be re-opened.”
He insisted the Government has been “preparing intensively for a No Deal scenario”.
But he added: “No one should under-estimate the difficulties that a No Deal will present, for all of us, including the UK. It is not clear that the UK has fully understood that No Deal is not off the agenda. Rather, it’s a growing possibility.”