Thursday, 7 February 2019
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
25. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the engagement to date his Department has had with the European Commission regarding flexibilities and additional supports from the EU through EU funding programmes and capital investment in view of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5960/19]
28. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the actions in place to secure additional emergency funding from the EU in the event of a no-deal or hard Brexit; the key areas of additional expenditure across each Department which may be necessary in the event of a very disruptive Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1095/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 25 and 28 together.
Making the case for supporting measures at an EU level that recognise where Brexit represents a serious disturbance to the Irish economy is a key pillar of the Government’s response to Brexit. I am satisfied that there is a firm understanding at an EU level of the unique and disproportionate impact that Brexit will have on Ireland.
As far back as last March the Tánaiste met EU Budget Commissioner Oettinger when he visited Ireland and discussed with him the negative consequences to the Irish economy resulting from Brexit and the possibility of EU assistance. In November, in its Contingency Action Plan, the Commission confirmed that it would support Ireland in finding solutions addressing the specific challenges of Irish businesses. Last month, on a visit to Dublin, Commissioner Vestager emphasised that the Commission stands ready to act urgently in mitigation against the impacts of Brexit on Irish firms.
At his meeting with the Taoiseach in Brussels yesterday President Juncker was clear that the Commission stands ready to support Ireland in finding solutions answering the specific challenges that Ireland and Irish citizens, farmers and businesses will face and that it will work closely with Ireland to this end over the coming weeks.