Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (311)

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

311. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the meetings she has had with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport since becoming Minister regarding increasing ferry shipping capacity and infrastructure development at Irish ports including roll-on and roll-off facilities for businesses exporting to continental Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit in tabular form; the funding allocated and spent annually since the Brexit referendum on increasing shipping capacity and infrastructure development at Irish ports including roll-on and roll-off facilities; the contingencies and supports in place for trading enterprises in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and if a request has been made to the European Commission for state aid flexibility in this regard in order to support exposed exporting companies that will incur increased costs in the event of a no-deal Brexit. [8407/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I have engaged in regular meetings with all my Ministerial colleagues regarding a wide variety of Brexit implications since the announcement of the UK to leave the EU. However, investment in Irish shipping capacity and infrastructure is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to address.

In relation to State Aid, my Department and its agencies have been working closely with the EU 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. Much has been achieved by this Working Group. It has examined and explored a range of opportunities within State Aid rules including the development of the Future Growth Loan Scheme under GBER rules, the expansion of Ireland’s Rescue and Restructuring Scheme to include Temporary liquidity aid and the Group is currently working closely with DG Agri to explore the range of opportunities under the Agriculture and Forestry State aid guidelines. It has looked at regionally important, exposed clients and their building resilience in their response to Brexit by using environmental and innovation aid.

On 24th January 2019, I met with the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager. The focus of the meeting centered 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 emphasized that the Commission stands ready to act urgently in mitigation against the impacts of Brexit on Irish firms.