Thursday 19 September 2019

Companies in Brexit danger get up to €10m

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Companies that find themselves in peril as a result of Brexit will be able to get up to €10m from the State under plans to be announced today.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald will reveal details of a "rescue and restructuring scheme" being put in place for small and medium-sized businesses.

The move is a major signal that the Government fears that some companies will be forced to the brink of survival once the UK has left the EU.

Ms Fitzgerald, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, will today launch a report entitled 'Responding to Brexit by competing, innovating and trading'.

It sets out the work now under way as part of Ireland's Brexit strategy and a number of new initiatives.

Key to this will be "supports to help make companies more resilient in the face of Brexit and other challenges".

The Tánaiste will also state that "many" businesses are not planning for the UK's exit and she will call on business to engage with State agencies.

She will stress that the Government's approach is "to minimise risks and maximum opportunities by supporting the growth and resilience of Irish enterprise in the context of Brexit".

The potential for giving grants or equity of up to €10m is a key feature of the report, although the scheme may require approval from the EU.

The proposal is in addition to a €300m loan scheme for business announced on Budget Day.

The paper to be released today focuses on four key areas:

* Helping firms to complete;

* Enabling firms to innovate;

* Supporting firms to trade;

* And negotiating for the best possible outcome.

The Irish Independent understands that the report sets out ways for businesses to gain access to extra funding, ensuring that our tax regime and infrastructure spend promote national competitiveness and that State agencies are adequately resourced.

It also states that Ireland should be a "global innovation leader", with an extra focus on research and development.

Business will also be encouraged to diversify their markets.

It comes as Britain promised that European Union citizens will have the right to appeal if they are denied permission to live in the country after it leaves the EU, part of an improved offer before a new round of Brexit talks this week.

The future status of three million EU citizens in Britain and one million Britons in other parts of the 28-nation bloc has been one of the main hurdles in the negotiations that started in June.

Britain has repeatedly said that EU nationals who are already in the UK will be able to stay after Britain has left the European Union, but EU officials have argued that the British government's proposals nonetheless would erode the existing rights of European citizens.

Irish Independent

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