MEPs have voted in favour of the €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve – with €1 billion coming Ireland’s way.

Following an agreement on the reserve fund between the European Parliament and the European Council in June, MEPs voted in favour of the fund today (Wednesday, September 15) by 652 votes to 32, with 11 abstentions.

€1.6 billion will be distributed in 2021. The remaining €3.4 billion should follow in separate tranches of €1.2 billion in 2022 and 2023, followed by €1 billion in 2025.

Measures that qualify for funding may include, among others: support to businesses; supporting local communities; creating jobs; or supporting EU citizens to re-integrate.

The parliament ensured that expenditure incurred between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2023 will be covered by the fund. The European Commission’s original proposal had limited the eligibility period to between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022.

According to the agreement between the parliament and the council, three factors will be used to calculate how much money each EU country will receive: the importance of trade with the UK; the importance of fisheries in the UK exclusive economic zone; and the population living in maritime regions bordering the UK.

The parliament confirmed that, on this basis, Ireland will be “by far” the largest beneficiary in absolute terms, with €1 billion coming our way.

The Netherlands will be the second largest beneficiary with €810 million, followed by France, with €670 million; Germany, with €590 million; and Belgium, with €350 million.

Member states that depend significantly on fisheries will have to direct a specific percentage of their national allocation to small-scale coastal fisheries and local and regional communities dependent on fishing activities.

To finalise the legislative process and distribute the financial support, the Brexit Adjustment Reserve will also have to be formally approved by the European Council.