Ireland could begin to receive the lion’s share of the European Union’s Brexit adjustment fund before the end of the year.
The State is set to receive over €1 billion of the €5.34 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR), under a provisional agreement reached today by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe welcomed the “swiftly” reached preliminary agreement, with the fund to support Ireland in managing the impact of Brexit.
“The significant allocation of this special instrument to Ireland recognises the disproportionate impact of Brexit on key sectors,” he said.
“With today’s agreement we are much closer to funds being disbursed before the end of 2021 and that is most welcome.”
‘Act of solidarity’
The Minister said the preliminary agreement between the Portuguese presidency of the Council and negotiators from the European Parliament must be endorsed by the two institutions, before the regulation can be adopted.
Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, said Government representatives had been “relentless” in arguing that allocation of the fund should reflect the countries most affected by Britain’s departure from the EU.
“This is an act of solidarity from other EU member states to help us deal with the obvious negative effects of Brexit,” he said of the preliminary agreement.
The fund is a one-off emergency payment designed to compensate businesses for lost trade, preserve jobs, help fishing communities and build customs facilities at ports.
Some 80 per cent of the total €5 billion fund will be disbursed as pre-financing, with €1.6 billion to be paid out in 2021, €1.2 billion in 2022 and €1.2 billion in 2023.
The remaining 20 per cent or €1 billion will be made available in 2025 and shared among EU member states depending on how the funding has been spent in the previous years.
Allocation of the fund to member states is based on three main factors, which are the value of fish caught in the UK-exclusive economic zone, the importance of trade with the UK and the population of maritime border regions with the UK.