Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Imelda Munster TD, has welcomed the announcement of a targeted Brexit fund for border counties, which was recently announced by Minister Heather Humphreys. The funding is in line with Deputy Munster’s amendments to the Industrial Development Amendment Bill, which ensured that border counties would be given preferential treatment regarding grant funding for businesses at risk due to Brexit.
Deputy Munster said:
“I am delighted that my amendments were successful and that the border is being prioritised in the allocation supports for businesses ahead of Brexit.
“This is good news for the entire border region.
“My home town of Drogheda is a good example as to why these supports are required. Drogheda is Ireland’s largest town, located on the Dublin-Belfast corridor. We have a well-educated workforce, a dynamic business community and great potential to grow.
“Government policies have held Drogheda back – the previous Labour and Fine Gael government stripped us of our town council and borough status which was a major blow to the town.
“The current government consistently overlooks Drogheda time and time again when it comes to business and development opportunities. We got nothing in the National Development Plan and Ireland 2040, other than ‘third tier status’, which is frankly an insult to Drogheda, given its size and potential.
“The government has been slow to date in helping businesses to plan for Brexit. The Brexit loan schemes have been seriously problematic, and there are ongoing concerns around the safeguarding of jobs ahead of Brexit.
“This funding is a first step in addressing these issues for border counties. I am pleased that my amendments have been successful in that the government is finally taking its responsibilities to the border region seriously.
“It is important that the funding targets businesses who need it most, and who are most exposed to Brexit risk, and I will be following up on these matters with the Minister when the Dáil resumes next week.