Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Brexit Supports

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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137. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve for the seafood processing capital investment scheme. [17000/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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In late December 2020, the EU Commission published plans for a Brexit Adjustment Reserve to mitigate the economic impacts of the withdrawal of the UK. In March 2021, I established a Task Force to examine the impacts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union and the United Kingdom on our fishing sector and coastal communities, and to make recommendations to me on initiatives that could be taken to provide supports for development and restructuring so as to ensure a profitable and sustainable fishing fleet and to identify opportunities for jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on fishing.

I received the Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Changeon 11th October 2021 and it recommends a suite of 16 support schemes at a total cost of €423 million. A number of recommendations have already been implemented and on 25thMarch 2022 I was pleased to announce the implementation of two further recommendations, in the form of the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme and the Brexit Inshore Marketing Scheme.

The remaining recommendations of the Task Force are being urgently examined across Government with regard to available funds, eligibility of the recommended measures for funding under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve and with regard to State Aid rules and the Public Spending Code. This complex process, that needs to be undertaken on a phased and prioritised basis as recommended by the Task Force, is very well advanced.

The report included a recommendation, for a capital investment scheme for seafood processing enterprises, which is currently going through this process. The scheme is aimed at mitigating the significant loss of raw material supply due to TCA quota cuts, and Brexit impacts on traditional imports of raw material from the UK, through increased, graduated grant aid rates.

I am very conscious of the tight timeframe for supports under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.


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