The UK’s decision to leave the EU and its potential implications for Ireland are being managed on a whole-of-government basis, led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Brexit presents unprecedented challenges for Ireland and, depending on the outcome of the EU-UK negotiations, could have a significant impact on our future transport connectivity. The June European Council renewed its call for Member States and stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes - our work on this is already advanced and will intensify over the coming months in order to prepare for all scenarios.

The Brexit Unit within the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport ensures a coordinated approach to Brexit across all of the Department’s policy areas and is working to ensure that any impacts to our sectors are minimised. The Department is represented on all relevant cross-departmental coordination structures and an internal Departmental Committee on Brexit meets regularly. The Department is also working closely with our Agencies and key stakeholders.

Brexit-related queries may be directed to


EU Brexit Preparedness Notices

The European Commission is preparing for Brexit and in July published a Communication on preparing for the UK's withdrawal from the EU. This Communication calls on Member States, private actors, business operators, professionals and citizens to prepare and take necessary action. The Department would urge stakeholders to read this Communication.

The European Commission has also published over 60 sector-specific  Preparedness Notices covering a wide range of areas, including road transport, aviation safety, maritime transport, aviation and maritime security, rail transport, and seafarer qualifications. The Department would urge stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the material contained in these notices. Our Marine Survey Office (MSO) has also published a number of Marine Notices in order to draw attention to the maritime-related Preparedness Notices issued by the European Commission.

The Commission may publish further notices over the coming months. It is important to note that these notices address a scenario whereby the UK would leave the EU on 30 March 2019 without a deal on a transition period having been agreed. In this regard, it should be borne in mind that a transition period, extending to 31 December 2020 and based on the status quo, is currently the subject of negotiations between the EU and the UK within the context of the withdrawal process. Should this be agreed, many of the elements reflected in these notices will only become relevant at the end of the transition period. 

The European Commission is also examining the EU body of law or “acquis” in order to identify any measures that may be required and has to date identified a small number of legislative changes that are expected to be needed as a result of Brexit. This includes pending and planned EU legislative proposals related to the transport sector, as follows:

  • Proposal for a Regulation complementing EU type approval legislation in the area of motor vehicles. This will allow holders of UK type approvals to apply for new type approvals with EU27 type-approval authorities for the same types on the basis of the documentation and test reports presented in the context of the earlier UK type approvals.
  • Proposal to amend the Regulation on the Connecting Europe Facility to adjust the alignment of the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor and design a new maritime route to link Ireland with the continental part of the Corridor.
  • Proposal to amend the Regulation on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations to ensure that the task of participating in the regular assessment of two recognised organisations is transferred from the UK to the EU27.

Useful links:

Negotiating documents on Article 50 negotiations with the UK

Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade - Brexit

Initial Publication Date: 
Wednesday, 15 August 2018