Welcome for European Commission allocation of €1 billion to Ireland

Minister of state for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD has thanked all stakeholders for their hard work and patience during the first month post the Brexit transition on 1st January and one year on from the British exit from the EU.

He paid tribute to the resilience that our traders, hauliers and all stakeholders have shown.

" I want to take this opportunity to reassure everyone that the government will continue to help in any way we can and will not be found wanting.

“It has been a cautious time for everyone, and there have been challenges, but everyone is doing their best and working within the new circumstances in which we find ourselves. Government agencies have extended a helping hand and thankfully most stakeholders have wilfully engaged with them” Minister Byrne said.

Revenue, the Department of Agriculture and the HSE have 24-hour operations at Dublin Port and helplines are available. Supports for businesses, including the Enterprise Ireland Ready for Customs grant of up to €9,000, remain open for applications from eligible companies trading to, from or through Great Britain.

“Trading volumes are undeniable down on direct routes between Britain and Ireland, but are gradually increasing all the time” he said.

Through extensive engagement between Government Departments, agencies, ferry companies and hauliers, a series of new direct services and routes to European ports have come on stream. Not only has the number and frequency of services increased, additional capacity has also been secured.

Minister Byrne said “in January 2020, there were 12 weekly sailings to Northern France. As of January 2021, there are now 36 sailings to Northern France. The demand is clearly there and ferry companies have demonstrated flexibility and agility in their response, and there is strong take up on the direct routes, with freight volumes on these services up 100% on last year”.

Another welcome development during the first month post Brexit was the announcement by the European Commission of its proposal to allocate €1 billion from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve to Ireland.

"This was a welcome move and represents a good result for Ireland. The €1bn accounts for 25 per cent of the initial allocation of €4.2bn for 2021, reflecting the unique, adverse and disproportionate impact of Brexit on Ireland, particularly on the fishing and agri-food sectors.

“Brexit was never going to be good for Ireland, but working together we have tried to minimise the negative impacts and find ways to make our new reality more manageable”.

" I am proud of the resilience that our traders, hauliers and all stakeholders have shown, and I want to take this opportunity to reassure everyone that the government will continue to help in any way we can and will not be found wanting” Minister Byrne concluded.

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