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Kelly hits out at French proposal to change EU Brexit fund allocations

Published: Fri, 19 March 2021

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Seán Kelly MEP has strongly criticised French proposals to alter the calculation method for dividing up the EU’s Brexit fund, designed to help countries most negatively affected by Brexit of which Ireland stands to gain around €1.05 billion under current projections. “The French proposal to alter the calculation simply threatens to delay the arrival of these vital funds even further, and is only to the benefit of the big countries. This is not good for European solidarity, nor businesses most impacted by Brexit, and I will strongly lobby colleagues in the European Parliament and Commission to keep the allocations as they are so we can get the money to the people who actually need it”, said Kelly, Fine Gael’s Leader in the European Parliament.

The EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) is designed to help businesses and communities cope with increased costs of trade and lost income since the UK has left the single market.

“Ireland is obviously most acutely effected and we rightly stand at the front of the queue, but the fund must be implemented as soon as possible so that the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council can endorse it. Further delays diminish the effectiveness of the Fund as businesses are already suffering and need financial support”, the Ireland South MEP insisted.

“There are some questions about the distribution of the Fund. The methodology used to calculate allocations was designed without knowing what will be the final effects of Brexit be on Member States, which are still unfolding. The Commission used all available data including the likes of IMF studies to allocate the fund in the fairest, most reasonable and objective way to estimate which Member States and sectors would be worst affected.”

“For Ireland, it is important to take into account the wider context of the Council agreement on the EU’s overall budget and the recovery mechanism. Ireland’s proposed allocation under the BAR is more than what we will receive under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the centrepiece of NextGenerationEU that includes €672.5 billion in loans and grants. The BAR is the only financial instrument that deals with the adverse consequences of Brexit”, he added.

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