Ireland should get ‘lion’s share’ of EU Brexit fund – MEP Markey

Ireland should get two thirds of the €5 billion earmarked for countries most impacted by the UK’s departure from the EU, according to Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey.

The EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve is to be made available to sectors that are most affected by Brexit.

Colm Markey, who replaced Mairead McGuinness as MEP for the Midlands North-West constituency when she became a commissioner, says there’s EU-wide acceptance that Ireland will be impacted more than any other EU state.

A farmer and businessman by background, Louth MEP Markey has a seat on the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

He told EuroParlRadio: “All across Europe, it’s recognised that Ireland is the most impacted country by Brexit. I think there is political recognition to that fact and that recognition has to be backed up by the finances put behind it as well.

We’d be looking for that share of money to come to Ireland; to come to Irish fishing and to come to Irish agriculture.

“Realistically we should be looking for – at a minimum – two thirds of the money, when it’s there, to come to Ireland, in recognition of the fact of how much it is impacting our economy,” Markey said.

Brexit Adjustment Reserve

The €5 billion ‘Brexit Adjustment Reserve’ was established to offset the unforeseen and adverse impact on the member states and sectors most affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The Irish government has been engaging with the European Commission as it rolls out the fund, to ensure that Irish businesses and sectors benefit to the maximum extent possible, in the context of the disproportionate impact Brexit will have on Ireland.

However, Ireland faces intense competition for access to the funding, with France making a strong bid for funding to support its fishing communities.

Previously the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has also called for the ‘bulk’ of the fund to be given to Ireland.