Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Questions (516)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

516. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the impact the renegotiation of the EU Brexit fund as requested by France will have on Ireland’s share of the funding; the way in which it will progress; if it impacts on the ratification of the Brexit agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15766/21]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) represents an important response by the European Union to the challenges posed by the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU.  Ireland played a leading role in securing support for the Reserve at the marathon European Council meeting last July.

The purpose of the BAR is to help counter the adverse economic and social consequences of Brexit in the sectors and Member States that are worst affected. 

It is generally acknowledged that Ireland is the Member State most impacted by Brexit and so we expect to be a significant beneficiary of the BAR.  Ireland has already expended a considerable amount on preparing for Brexit, with successive budgets since 2016 providing significant supports for business and the agri-food sectors, as well as the infrastructure required at the port and airport to maintain the flow of east west trade.

Discussions on the BAR are continuing in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.  Ireland’s view is that the Commission’s proposed allocations are relevant, appropriate and fair and that they are in line with the solidarity envisaged by the European Council.  The proposed allocation for Ireland reflects the unique, adverse and disproportionate impact of Brexit on our economy.

Ireland is actively engaged in the ongoing discussions at political and senior official level and hopes that agreement on this proposal can be concluded quickly, so that funding can start to flow.

As the Brexit Adjustment Reserve is legally separate and distinct from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) concluded between the EU and UK, negotiations in relation to the BAR are separate to the ongoing TCA ratification process.