Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (308)

Lisa Chambers


308. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if Ireland has formally applied for a relaxation of state-aid rules to assist businesses as a consequence of the impact of Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5558/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

My Department has been working closely with the Commission and DG Competition since November 2017 through the Irish/EU Technical Working Group on State Aid. The objective of the Group is to scope and design schemes to support enterprises impacted by Brexit in line with State Aid rules.

Through the mechanism of the Technical Working Group Ireland has fully utilised the provisions of the State aid framework to enable the investment by Enterprise Ireland of €74 million in Brexit impacted businesses in 2018.

On 24th January 2019, I met with the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager. The focus of the meeting centred around the severe challenges that Irish businesses will face when the UK leaves the EU and the need for appropriate and timely State supports. It was agreed that Irish officials will continue to work closely with the Commissioner's team in addressing any State aid issues that may arise to ensure a rapid and appropriate response as the ultimate shape of Brexit and its firm-level implication become known. The Commissioner emphasised that the Commission stands ready to act urgently in mitigation against the impacts of Brexit on Irish firms.