November 27, 2020
“EU Brexit Fund must be distributed on economic impact not political clout” – MacManus

“EU Brexit Fund must be distributed on economic impact not political clout” – MacManus

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said the EU’s Brexit Fund, the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, must be distributed in a transparent way and on the basis of the economic impact of Brexit on the economies of countries and regions. He said while the Fund is welcome and important, a broader range of supports will be needed for the Irish economy. 

MacManus was responding to reports that French President Emmanuel Macron was seeking to acquire a significant portion of the fund as compensation for French fishers. 

MacManus said:

“The Brexit Fund is recognition of the deep economic impact Brexit – hard or soft – will have on EU member states. It must be distributed fairly and transparently with actual quantifiable overall economic impact on a country and regions as the main criteria in how it is distributed. This is not a political fund and cannot be used to assist one particular industry alone.”

The Midlands Northwest MEP highlighted Ireland’s plight: “In Ireland’s case Brexit means part of the country leaving the EU compounding the economic damage partition causes. Moreover, the new map of the EU shows Ireland as an island hundreds of mile adrift from the rest of the single market. Our island will be permanently disadvantaged and will need solidarity in actions and not just words.”

“This Fund must play a part in that solidarity and we must fight for a fair share. Sinn Féin has pointed to other areas like re-examining the Trans-European Networks in Transport and Energy and the Regional Aid Guidelines because Brexit means Ireland is geographically more disadvantaged than ever before.”

MacManus concluded by calling for cross party cooperation to fight Ireland’s corner: “The Irish government and all our MEPs must be arguing for and winning the maximum level of support for our economy on a long term basis, not on the basis of greed or as a political electoral aid but because the facts shows that we will need the support much more than any other country.” ENDS

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