Ireland is set to receive the biggest share of the €5 billion EU Brexit fund, after a provisional agreement was reached today.
Ireland will get over €1 billion of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR), which is aimed at countries and sectors worst hit by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium are the next largest beneficiaries.
According to the provisional agreement, three factors were used to calculate how much money each EU country will receive from the BAR – the importance of trade with the UK, the importance of fisheries in the UK exclusive economic zone and the population living in maritime regions bordering the UK.
The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe welcomed the preliminary agreement reached by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.
“It is very welcome that agreement on the Brexit Adjustment Reserve was reached so swiftly with the European Parliament.
“This underlines the importance of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve as an instrument to support member states in managing the impact of Brexit,” Minister Donohoe said.
Following today’s news, he said that Ireland is “much closer” to funds being paid out before the end of this year.
Minister Donohoe said the next steps in finalising the process requires that the preliminary agreement between the Portuguese presidency of the Council and negotiators from the European Parliament must be endorsed by the two institutions, before they can proceed to adoption of the regulation, which he said is expected to take place “very soon”.
Michael McGrath, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform also welcomed the agreement.
“The Brexit Adjustment Reserve represents an important response by the European Union to the challenges posed by the UK’s departure from the EU.
“It is further evidence of the support and solidarity that Ireland has received from the EU, not just since 2016 but over five decades of EU membership,” he said.
Minister McGrath said it is “widely understood” that Ireland is the member state most impacted by Brexit, and so he said it is appropriate that Ireland is the largest beneficiary.
“Today’s agreement paves the way for the Brexit Adjustment Reserve to support employment, businesses and local communities negatively affected by Brexit, including those in the fishing industry.
“In addition, it can be used to support checks and controls at ports and airport, as well as measures for communications and awareness-raising for citizens and businesses post-Brexit,” he said.