State ‘much closer’ to receiving €1bn share of EU’s Brexit fund

Paschal Donohoe welcomes swift agreement on allocation from €5.34bn fund

Ireland could begin receiving the largest share of the European Union's Brexit adjustment fund before the end of the year.

The Government welcomed the preliminary agreement that will lead to the State receiving more than €1 billion, or about a fifth of the €5.34 billion Brexit adjustment reserve, following a decision by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.

The Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium are the next largest beneficiaries of the fund, which was agreed to help the countries most affected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that it was "very welcome" that agreement on the fund was reached "so swiftly" with the European Parliament.


“The significant allocation of this special instrument to Ireland recognises the disproportionate impact of Brexit on key sectors,” he said.

The agreement meant that the State is “much closer” to seeing the “funds being disbursed before the end of 2021,” said Mr Donohoe.

About €1.6 billion of the fund will be disbursed in 2021, €1.2 billion next year and €1.2 billion in 2023. The remainder will be distributed in 2025.

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said the fund would support employment, businesses and local communities negatively affected by Brexit, including in the fishing industry.

It can also be used to support checks and controls at ports and airports and measures for communications and “awareness-raising” for citizens and businesses post-Brexit, he said.

The fund was "an important response by the European Union to the challenges posed by the UK's departure from the EU," he said.

“It is further evidence of the support and solidarity that Ireland has received from the EU, not just since 2016 but over five decades of EU membership,” he said.

Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne said Ireland's share of fund was "an act of solidarity" from other member states "to help us deal with the obvious negative effects of Brexit."

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times