Certainty needed on State Aid support in No Deal Brexit

22 February 2019

Labour Finance spokesperson Joan Burton TD has called on the Government to clarify the specifics of state aid support that will be available in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Deputy Burton said:

“The Fine Gael government is once again involved in a PR exercise where we are being told that state aid will be available for those impacted by a no deal Brexit. What is essential is that jobs are preserved and the damage limited as much as feasibly possible. We want to know for workers who will be adversely affected what will be done to protect their rights and maintain their terms and conditions?

“Unfortunately, the specifics and volume of that potential state aid support haven’t been clearly elaborated by the Government.

“There are reports this week that the cap on State Aid to farmers will be lifted from €15,000 up to €25,000 but we have no clarity or certainty as to who this will be available to, and the size of the fund that will be open for applications from farmers.

“For small businesses that rely on exports and imports to and through the UK we have no certainty. A special grant of €6m for Dubliner Cheese makers, The Carbery Group is reported in today’s papers, but we don’t know if such support is open to others, and how much can be invested.

“Will the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have enough funding to support all those who may need it? There are now more questions than answers available.

“For example, the haulage industry will be under huge pressure in a no deal Brexit, and we have no clarity on what supports the Government might make available. The Labour Party has proposed a time limited rebate on fuel that would make a significant difference to lorry drivers and haulage companies in the event of the land bridge through the UK becoming severely restricted.

“I have tabled a number of parliamentary questions to relevant Ministers to find out how much support will be available, what permission has been sought from the EU for state aid to specific sectors. I also want to know if revised estimates will have to be prepared and the total budgets available for each area. I look forward to seeing comprehensive replies from the Departments of Finance, Agriculture, Transport and Business next week.

“With 36 days to go to Brexit, preparations for a No Deal Brexit are finally ramping up, but we now need certainty on what level of supports will be available.”

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