Government will argue for special EU support to cope with Brexit shock

New strategy document also calls for help to manage period before new trade deal agreed

A Border Communities Against Brexit protest at Government Buildings highlighted some of the issues facing the State. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A Border Communities Against Brexit protest at Government Buildings highlighted some of the issues facing the State. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The Government will argue that the Republic could need special EU support to cope with the economic shock from Brexit, according to a new official strategy document, which says that Irish negotiators are now turning their attention to the key economic issues.

Another key issue highlighted in the new document is that the State will argue strongly for proper arrangements for a transitional period after Britain leaves the EU but before a new trade deal between Britain and Europe is finalised, to try to minimise the disruption of Brexit.

The document on Ireland’s’s approach to the Brexit negotiations, published on Tuesday, said that since the EU’s initial negotiating position was now clear, the Government’s focus would move on to economic issues. It said it would argue for the closet possible trading relationship between the EU and the UK in future and a recognition in the Brexit talks of the key trade issues which Ireland faces. A new trade deal could take considerably longer to negotiate than the two-year period allowed to reach a deal on Britain’s exit, it says, meaning detailed transitional arrangements are vital.

Sectoral plans

Government agencies and departments are preparing sectoral plans, it says, and supports will be provided to help companies adjust and find new markets. The document says Ireland will explore how existing EU measures “could potentially assist Ireland in mitigating the effects of the UK’s withdrawal on Irish business and economic sectors.”

However, it adds that Ireland will also make a strong case at the EU level that the State may require further support that responds to the fact the the UK’s withdrawal represents a serious disturbance to the Irish economy.” In this context it says that active discussions are continuing with the European Investment Bank on the potential for increased investment in Ireland to back the Government’s 10-year capital investment plan.

The publication follows the weekend EU summit which agreed that in the event of a united Ireland, the entire island would legally be part of the EU. With the EU’s initial negotiating position clear, the Government said in a statement that it was now time to intensify the focus on the economic challenges. It is also to prepare a further special document on this economic issue.