Government begins discussions with EU over possible state aid in event of hard Brexit

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Government begins discussions with EU over possible state aid in event of hard Brexit


Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Picture: Frank McGrath
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Picture: Frank McGrath

DUBLIN has started preliminary discussions with Brussels over possible state aid in the event of a hard Brexit, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said, even as he said there would be no discussion with the UK over the backstop.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Finance Committee, Minister Donohoe said the hit from hard Brexit to the Irish economy would be severe but that we would continue to see economic growth.

Mr Donohoe said he was “having preliminary discussions” with Brussels regarding “the kind supports that may be needed from a state aid point of view” but noted that Brexit would actually have to happen before plans could be firmed up.

With only 51 days left until Brexit kicks in on March 29, Minister Donohoe told the committee that he has met with top officials from the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which manages the country’s debt, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Revenue Commissioners to assess readiness.

“All are engaging closely in the overall whole -of- government preparations, and are confident that they have put appropriate contingency measures in place to do everything possible to limit the inevitable disruption to consumers and trade, in the event of a no deal Brexit,” Mr Donohoe said.

Mr Donohoe said the Central Bank of Ireland has been able to provide assurance that the financial system as a whole was resilient enough to withstand a hard Brexit.

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