EU Commission to help workers in event of ‘no deal’ Brexit – Hogan

Statement by Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development

This morning (4 September 2019), the European Commission adopted the latest in a series of Brexit Preparedness Communications, in which we reiterated our call to all stakeholders to prepare for a no-deal scenario.

In order to help businesses that trade with the UK, we have published a detailed checklist on final preparations.

Today’s Communication contributes further to the Commission’s extensive preparedness for a no-deal Brexit, which includes 46 legislative initiatives and legal acts (a further five were adopted today), 100 Brexit preparedness notices (across the full spectrum of EU activities) and 5 earlier Communications on Brexit preparedness (July 2018, November 2018, December 2018, April 2019 and June 2019).

In April this year, the Commission announced it was ready to consider financial support to Member States to cushion the effects of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, taking into account the available EU funding as well as State aid rules, which could offer flexible and immediate support to companies.

Reflecting that announcement, the Commission today proposed that the European Solidarity Fund and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund are available to support businesses, workers and Member States most affected by a no-deal Brexit.

The European Solidarity Fund may now cover the serious financial burden that may be imposed on Member States, for example in the areas of additional facilities and staff needed for customs, health and phytosanitary measures and State aid measures to support businesses and schemes to keep people in their jobs.

The scope of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which has existed since 2007, will be amended to include workers made redundant in areas, sectors, territories or labour markets suffering serious economic disruption due to a no-deal Brexit. Today’s proposal is intended as a statement of solidarity from the Commission that European support is available to mitigate some of the negative effects of a no-deal Brexit on workers and self-employed affected.

I welcome the restatement by the Commission today that the backstop, provided for by the Withdrawal Agreement, is the only solution identified that safeguards the Good Friday Agreement, ensures compliance with international law obligations and preserves the integrity of the internal market.

Finally, I welcome the prioritisation which the Irish government is giving to preparation for a no-deal Brexit and I urge all businesses which trade with the UK to heed the advice provided. The Irish government can be assured that the European Commission will continue to be available to provide any practical assistance that we can.

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