Tuesday 24 October 2017

'Rainy day fund' and focus on women central planks of strategy to beat Brexit

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, pictured with British Prime Minister Theresa May, hopes the plan will
mitigate the effects of Brexit. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, pictured with British Prime Minister Theresa May, hopes the plan will mitigate the effects of Brexit. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A government plan aimed at mitigating the effects of Brexit places a major focus on women as well as the poaching of "globally renowned" workers from the UK.

The 'Action Plan for Jobs' also confirms that a "rainy fund" will be launched in two years time when the fallout from Brexit is expected to be felt across Europe.

The plan, seen by the Irish Independent, sets out in detail for the first time Ireland's strategy in responding to the shock referendum result.

It reveals that almost €2m worth of funding will be disbursed through the Department of Justice aimed at getting women back into the workforce.

Gaining access to new markets for the beef industry, the ramping up of trade missions and significant investment in tourism initiatives are also detailed.

The launch of a "town centre revival framework" to support towns and villages through their local authorities is also a central plank of the document, which runs to 105 pages.

A specific section on Brexit outlines 20 short-term proposals, which include the hiring of new staff in key State agencies and the provision of specific supports to companies in the food and drink industry.

And the plan also promises to poach highly skilled researchers from abroad.

"Develop Ireland as an attractive location for mobile, globally renowned researchers, including UK-based researchers, and strengthen Ireland's research funding collaborations with the UK and Northern Ireland," it states. The action plan is due to be launched in Dublin today by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

However, the Opposition will undoubtedly criticise the document, which contains various proposals ranging from childcare and education to rural affairs.

The plans on Brexit were launched just 24 hours after it was reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to unlock Article 50 by March 9. According to the action plan, a special fund - known as a "rainy day" fund - will be launched in 2019, when the British government hopes the Brexit negotiations will conclude.

The document sets out specific measures for the eight regions. These include a plan to develop a series of loops off the Wild Atlantic Way in the mid-west to encourage a greater spread of visitors and alleviate high traffic.

In the mid-east, commuters who work in Dublin will be targeted by a 'Work Where You Live' awareness campaign, encouraging entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the region.

The government is to explore the potential for a "digital payments cluster" along the M1 corridor. PayPal already has a facility in Louth.

Irish Independent

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