Fianna Fáil MEP candidate for the Midlands-North-West Brendan Smith TD has demanded a multi-billion Brexit fund in advance of Britain leaving the European Union.
Deputy Smith commented, “I am extremely concerned by the Government and their handling of the Brexit talks. There is a failure to ensure that economic aid would be secured for Ireland if and when the UK leave the European Union. When you consider the vulnerabilities of the Irish economy, particular for us in the border and midland regions it should be imperative funding is secured.
“The Government and EU Council should convene a Special EU Summit to negotiate and establish a multi-billion Brexit emergency fund with specific funding being earmarked for the Border, Midland and Western Region in the interest of balanced regional development in addition to sustaining employment in all sectors of our local economy which is heavily dependent on the Agri-food sector.
“There are farming families, rural businesses and communities that will be in urgent need of financial support to withstand the potential losses expected when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019.
“It is imperative that the Midlands-North-West have a strong and experienced voice in the European Parliament to fight the Irish corner in respect of obtaining the necessary economic and development aid to support industry and employment that will be urgently required to overcome the economic challenges of Brexit.
“The people of the Border, Midlands and Western Region are very concerned about the potentially devastating economic effects associated with Brexit but are seriously disappointed with the Government’s apparent inaction and failure to propose or implement any measure to safe guard or protect jobs and investment in our region.
“The establishment of an Irish Brexit Emergency Fund would provide the necessary economic and developmental aid to support investment in critical infrastructure projects, sustain and create rural employment opportunities, support agri-business and rural development, encourage investment in rural tourism and to compensate Irish Industry for the loss of business activity emanating from Brexit.
“This Government has consistently failed the people of Rural Ireland through their Dublin centred policies and fascination with spin and now is the time for action. Now is the time for the creation of an Irish Brexit Emergency Fund,” concluded Deputy Smith.