02/06/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/06/2019 12:00
6 February, 2019 - by Imelda Munster TDSinn Féin spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has described the lack of preparedness at the Department of Transport ahead of Brexit as 'shocking and scary'.
At a meeting of Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport this afternoon Deputy Munster questioned Minister Shane Ross on the matter of motorists carrying Green Cards.
The cards are insurance documents proving minimum compulsory motor insurance cover in the event of a no deal Brexit.
Minister Ross confirmed that the EU has not granted any dispensation in terms of cross border traffic.
Therefore, as it stands, unless drivers have a Green Card they will potentially face penalties, and will essentially be driving uninsured when they cross the border. Minister Ross also confirmed that a month's notice will be required for those applying for the cards.
Deputy Munster said:
'There are around 68,000 vehicle journeys daily across the border. We are seven weeks out from a possible No Deal Brexit scenario, and the Minister is still operating on vague assurances rather than demonstrating that he has a concrete solution.
'No progress has been made on this issue since Minister Ross took office. This is completely unacceptable.
'Now we learn that applicants will have to give a month's notice before applying for these cards.
'This means we have 20 days to make arrangements for the cards to be issued ahead of Brexit.
'We also need to bear in mind that tens of thousands of people will be applying for this documentation all at once.
'I asked Minister Ross if he liaised with the EU or the British government to intervene in order to seek agreement seeking some form of special dispensation for Irish motorists.
'He said that he had done so, but he gave absolutely no information as to who he spoke to, when he intervened, what he requested or what the response was.'
'I represent a border county and this is an issue that could have a detrimental effect on the lives of thousands of my constituents, as well as damaging essential cross-border business.
'Today's meeting laid bare the shocking lack of preparation carried out by the Department of Transport.
'All of the plans outlined to the committee today appeared to be preparations carried out by the EU, so I am not entirely sure what the Minister has been doing these past two years to ensure that we are ready for Brexit.'