Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (417)

Neale Richmond


417. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the engagement he has had with his counterparts on the General Affairs Council regarding Brexit being a factor in funds allocated under the Covid-19 recovery fund. [33505/20]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The July European Council reached agreement on the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and Recovery Fund, totalling an unprecedented €1.82 trillion. The aim of the Recovery Fund is to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of Member States’ economies from the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall MFF/Recovery Fund package is a fair and balanced outcome and is testament to the solidarity shown by Member States to deal with this once in a generation crisis and will assist us all in our recovery from the current pandemic.

As part of the final agreement reached on the MFF and Recovery Fund package in July, it was agreed to establish a new special Brexit Adjustment Reserve worth €5 billion to counter the unforeseen and adverse consequences in those Member States and sectors that are worst affected by Brexit. The European Council invited the European Commission to present a proposal for a special Brexit instrument by November 2020 at the latest.

Throughout the negotiations on the MFF and more recently in discussions I have had with my EU counterparts and with the Commissioner with responsibility for the Budget and Administration portfolio, Johannes Hahn, I highlighted Ireland’s unique vulnerability to Brexit, the exposure of key sectors of Ireland’s economy to trade with the UK, and the disproportionate impact on Ireland’s economy as a result of Brexit.

We continue to work closely with the European Commission to ensure that the Fund targets the sectors and Member States most disproportionately impacted by Brexit. In my discussions with Commissioner Hahn, I also indicated our support for a Fund that provides early certainty on the level of funding allocated to a Member State, ensures funds flow quickly so that beneficiaries can mitigate negative impacts early, and is flexible in recognition of national specificities as to the impact of Brexit.