The Government, my Department, our enterprise development agencies and regulatory bodies will continue to be ready for all Brexit scenarios. As announced by the Minister for Finance in Budget 2020, provisions are in place for the Brexit Contingency funding of €650 million, in the event of a no-deal Brexit. As there is no certainty yet on the timeline or likely impact of the United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union the money will not be made available until it is required. This will be assessed at different stages over the coming months.
If there is a ‘No Deal’ €220 million will be made available immediately from Government. Of this, I will be making €110 million available to help vulnerable but viable businesses. Supports measures will include a €45 million Transition Fund, €42 million for a Rescue and Restructuring Fund, €8 million for a Transformation Fund for Food and Non-Food businesses, together with €5 million extra for Micro Finance Ireland, €5 million for a Local Enterprise Offices Emergency Brexit Fund and €2m extra for Intertrade Ireland. I will also provide €3m extra for Regulatory Bodies.
In addition, the Minister for Finance is providing €40 million in a 'No Deal' Scenario to support Tourism, if necessary. €110m will also be provided through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to support our beef sector and food companies. €410 million is also to be provided for the Live Register and Employment Supports.
We are continuing our engagement with business on preparing for Brexit. The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have organised various events to enable companies to learn about the potential impacts and opportunities of Brexit. The LEOs also offer customs training workshops, and a number of other schemes to help businesses prepare for Brexit.
InterTradeIreland [ITI’s] Brexit Planning Voucher enables businesses to seek professional advice on how best to plan and prepare for Brexit. The ITI Brexit Implementation Voucher offers further financial support.
The Brexit Loan Scheme provides working capital, up to three years, to eligible businesses to help them innovate, change or adapt to mitigate their Brexit challenges. The Future Growth Loan Scheme provides a longer-term facility, 8-10 years, to support strategic investment for a post-Brexit environment. Loans of under €500,000 are provided on an unsecured basis to eligible Irish businesses, including those in the primary agriculture and seafood sectors.
Enterprise Ireland [EI] has established a Prepare for Brexit online portal and communications campaign, and a “Be Prepared Grant” to support SME clients in planning to mitigate risks arising from Brexit.
EI’s Customs Insights course helps businesses looking at customs for the first time to understand the key customs concepts, documentation and processes.