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Question

3. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the additional resources his Department is providing for An Garda Síochána to prepare for a hard Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42665/18]

Answer

Deputy Charles Flanagan: As the Deputy will be aware, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Simon Coveney, is co-ordinating what is a whole-of-government response to Brexit. In this capacity, he is working closely with all Ministers, including me, to address in a joined-up manner the many challenges Brexit will present. I emphasise that it is the Government’s firm intention that the same Border arrangements, as currently apply on the island of Ireland, will continue into the future. In its approach to the Brexit negotiations the Government has ensured protecting the gains of the peace process and the avoidance of a hard border is a high priority for Ireland, our partner member states in the European Union and the European Commission. An Garda Síochána operates within this policy framework. The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel. Garda management keeps the matter under active review in line with operational and security demands, including possible policing requirements post-Brexit. A high-level management team in An Garda Síochána has been set up to prepare for any organisational challenges that may evolve in the context of Brexit and it is engaged on an ongoing basis with my Department. I and senior officials from my Department met the Garda Commissioner and his team to discuss Brexit contingency planning and I am assured that An Garda Síochána is preparing for Brexit with a wide-ranging focus to determine operational requirements, including personnel, infrastructure, training and technology, and will continue to progress its contingency preparations. An Garda Síochána is committed to ensuring the organisation is prepared for the associated policing implications and challenges that may arise therefrom. I assure the House that An Garda Síochána has the full support of the Government in dealing with the implications of Brexit and will provide whatever resources are required to keep our people and communities safe.