Brexit Fund must be targeted at border areas: Chris MacManus MEP

Chris MacManus MEP & David Winton – Director of the Northern Western Regional Assembly

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has welcomed the approval of the €5bn Brexit Adjustment Reserve this week by the European Parliament.  The Midlands Northwest MEP said Ireland’s share of approximately €1bn must be focused ‘on where Brexit has had and will have the biggest impact, specifically the border region’.
 
MacManus was speaking following a meeting with the Director of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, Mr. David Minton. 
 
MacManus said:
 
“This week the European Parliament agreed to the deal established with the Member States on the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, known as the Brexit Fund. Although the deal is not as good for Ireland as the original proposal it still represents an important act of solidarity.”
 
“I will be working to ensure that the State’s share of the fund is spent in the border regions where Brexit has hit hardest. The lion’s share must be directed to helping workers and business decimated by Brexit along the border and agencies such as the Northern and Western Regional Assembly need to have a central role in this regard. I have long argued that this fund along with PEACE, structural funds, the EU’s Pandemic Recovery Fund of almost €1bn to Ireland alongside regional aid changes could form an important investment package for the border and Northwest region.”
 
The Sinn Féin MEP highlighted the long term effects of Brexit and the border. “My message to the EU is that while this act of solidarity is appreciated Brexit is not a short-term problem and the structural issues it has created and exposed must also be tackled and that includes partition. The EU needs to begin a conversation on the potential social and economic impact of Irish Unity in the future.”
 
MacManus concluded by highlighting the increased hardship that Brexit has brought on coastal and fishing communities:
 
“Irish coastal and fishing communities are another example of communities that have been hit hard by Brexit. The outcome of this Brexit trade deal amounts to another cut to quota and income to our Irish fishing fleet that was already struggling to survive. The response from the Dublin government has been pathetic. Not only should the Dublin government be fighting for greater financial supports, but more importantly, they should also be actively campaigning for burden sharing when it comes to quota cuts.”