Howlin warns we are “galloping towards a train wreck" on Brexit

Pressure is mounting on the government to publish an internal revenue report on Brexit

Howlin warns we are “galloping towards a train wreck" on Brexit

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin at the launch of his party’s alternative budget 2018, 04-10-2017. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Pressure is mounting on the government to immediately publish details of a leaked internal Revenue report on Brexit.

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has warned we are “galloping towards a train wreck” if we don't have a clear view of the issues affecting us after Brexit.

The report is believed to set out the vast increase in workload, paperwork, human resources and space at Irish ports that will be required.

It is also understood to warn that it will be impossible to have an open customs border in Ireland following the UK's exit from the bloc.

Deputy Howlin said it is “very worrying” that the information in the report has not been put into the public domain.

“We are galloping towards, I think, a train wreck unless we can have a clear view of how we can address issues that, right now, we have no solution for,” he said.

He warned that there is “no point” in the government trying to hide the report.

“It is very worrying that this report is on the government shelf for some time,” he said.

“It is worrying that it has not been put into the public domain.

“If we are going to craft a solution to these problems, we need to see them in all their detail and the British need to be confronted by these things.”

Constructive negotiations

The fifth round of Brexit negotiations gets underway in Brussels today – with the British Prime Minister Theresa May claiming the ball is now in the EUs court.

In a speech to be delivered to the British House of Commons today, she will call for talks to be approached in a constructive way “with our sights set firmly on the future.”

“Sufficient progress”

European leaders will decide at a European Council summit on 19-20 October whether “sufficient progress” has been made in the talks in order to begin negotiations on a future trading relationship.

Progress is needed on three key issues - the divorce bill, citizens' rights and the Irish border - before talks can move on to post-Brexit relationship issues, including trade.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said last month that it would take "miracles" for enough progress to have been made before the leaders' meeting.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier meanwhile warned it could take several months for the key divorce issues to be decided.