Budget 2021 prepares Ireland for a No Deal Brexit, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Fine Gael Spokesperson on European Union Affairs, Neale Richmond, has welcomed the €3.4 billion Recovery Fund and a further €100m for businesses to prepare for Brexit in Budget 2021.
Addressing the Budget 2021 debate in the Dáil, Deputy Richmond said, “Today we debate the biggest Budget in the history of the State as we also face the harsh reality of the twin challenges it is designed to address.
“While much focus today, rightly, goes to the new Covid restrictions, we cannot lose focus of the economic threat from Brexit.
“The European Council meets, once again, to discuss where we are at in the Brexit negotiations and a deal is still not in sight.
“Although we still do not know what form Brexit will take, we do know with certainty that substantive change is coming in January.
“Minister Donohoe has made clear the stark reality that Budget 2021 is being framed with a No Deal Brexit in mind and supports are being provided as such.
“A €3.4 billion Brexit-Covid Recovery Fund has been created to help the economy bounce back from the two biggest threats Irish businesses are facing in Brexit and the ongoing pandemic.
“This fund will allow Government to take swift action and protect jobs where they may be at risk. It will afford us with the flexibility needed to allow us to act quickly to support businesses where necessary.
“€100 million has been provided to help businesses adapt to Brexit by increasing resilience and competitiveness as well as helping businesses with forthcoming checks and regulations.
“These funds will protect Irish businesses and economy from the worst effects of Brexit, regardless of whether a trade deal is agreed in the coming weeks or not.
“Businesses will also benefit from the €24 million Covid-Enterprise Support Grant for SMEs and the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme to help them through any further Covid related restrictions or closures.
“2020 has been incredibly difficult for Irish businesses, through absolutely no fault of their own. To face Brexit or Covid-19 alone would be a huge challenge for business, to deal with them both is a monumental challenge.
“Budget 2021 is the biggest in the history of the Irish State at nearly €18 billion and will ensure businesses will not be left wanting for Brexit supports. Budget 2021 prepares Ireland for a No Deal Brexit.”