Written answers

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Brexit Issues

Cormac Devlin (Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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66. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on whether Brexit will have a positive impact on any policy area or sector under the remit of his Department; and if the details of same will be provided. [37183/20]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Ireland continues to support the closest possible future relationship between the EU and the UK.  Moreover, the Government remains committed to protecting and strengthening the Ireland-UK relationship following the end of the transition period.

Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations on the future relationship, the UK will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union on 1 January 2021.  Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will have significant impacts in Ireland.

In particular, a hard Brexit will impact on economic growth, trade and employment.  The conclusion of a free trade agreement would improve the outlook, but it remains the case that the way we trade with our closest neighbour will change substantially and permanently.

In recent months the Government has been ramping up its preparations for Brexit following publication of an updated Brexit Readiness Action Plan in September.  This sets out the measures that the Government is putting in place and the steps that businesses and individuals need to take to be Brexit ready.

Budget 2021 provides around €340 million for Brexit measures, through the continuation of existing measures as well as a number of new supports.  This is on top of more than €700 million of measures in successive Budgets since 2017.  

In particular, the Budget provides further funding for a range of sectorial supports and additional resources for regulatory agencies, as well as a number of enhancements to existing tax-based measures in support of sectors and enterprises most affected by Brexit.

Continuing the Government’s commitment to cross-border cooperation, the new PEACE PLUS programme, for which my Department has responsibility, is a positive step that will build on and continue the important work of the current PEACE and INTERREG programmes.

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