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Lusa - Business News - EU/Presidency: Parliament, Council hope to reach agreement on €5B Brexit fund

Brussels, June 9, 2021 (Lusa) - The European Parliament has adopted its position on the €5 billion Brexit adjustment reserve and negotiations with the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU should start immediately, hoping to reach an agreement this month.

Nearly a month after member states (Council) agreed on their negotiating position and gave a mandate to the Portuguese presidency for negotiations with the Parliament, the assembly adopted in Strasbourg, in a vote on Tuesday, the result of which was made public today, its mandate for negotiations, which should start today, with a view to a compromise by the end of next week.

Among the main points of the negotiating mandate now adopted on this fund to help EU countries combat the adverse consequences of the UK's exit, parliament advocates that €4 billion be made available as pre-financing in two equal instalments, in 2021 and 2022, with the remaining €1 billion to be paid out in 2025.

The eligibility period, the parliament said, should include costs incurred between 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2023 in preparing for the expected negative effects of Brexit.

MEPs also want to allocate support based on three factors: the importance of trade with the UK, the importance of fishing in the UK's exclusive economic zone, and the population living in maritime regions bordering the UK.

The assembly also said that small and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed should be privileged and job creation and the reintegration of European citizens returning from the UK as a consequence of Brexit, considering that the financial and banking sectors should be excluded from this support.

On 29 April, the Council adopted its position, considering that the adjustment reserve should focus on the worst affected regions, areas and sectors in the EU and be used to finance a variety of measures, such as compensating companies for lost trade, maintaining [...] employment and setting up customs controls at ports.

In line with the policy of strengthening cohesion across the EU, the Council considers that the method of calculating the support to be made available per country should take into account the uneven impact of Brexit on different regions and sectors, advocating as weighting factors the value of fish caught in the UK's exclusive economic zone, the importance of trade with the UK and the population of maritime border regions with the UK.

Portugal hopes for an agreement before the summer holidays so that the first instalment can be disbursed before the end of the year.

The €5 billion fund was agreed to last year by EU leaders as part of the 2021-2027 budget.

In the first tranche, to be distributed this year, Portugal should receive at least €58.3 million, according to the European Commission's proposal. After that, Ireland and the Netherlands should be the main beneficiaries.

The post-Brexit agreement between the EU and the UK allows both parties to continue trading without quotas or tariffs after the country's exit from the EU bloc. Still, such a protocol does not avoid new costs and red tape for European companies doing business with London.

After the Portuguese presidency stated its intention to 'close' a deal with the assembly still during the six-month period ending at the end of this month, the European Parliament indicated that negotiations with the Council would start today, in an attempt to reach a political compromise by 17 June, "so that funds can be made available quickly".



Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-06-10 10:08:19


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