How the EU will help mitigate the impact of Brexit
A €5 billion EU fund will support people, companies and countries affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the Union.
The end of the Brexit transition period, on 30 December 2020, marked the end of the free movement of people, goods, services and capital between the EU and the UK, with adverse social and economic consequences for people, businesses and public administrations on both sides.
To help Europeans adapt to the changes, in July 2020 EU leaders agreed to create the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, a €5 billion fund (in 2018 prices) to be paid until 2025. EU countries will start receiving the resources by December, following Parliament’s approval. MEPs are expected to vote on the fund during the September plenary session.
How much will go to my country?
The fund will help all EU countries, but the plan is for the countries and sectors worst affected by Brexit to receive the most support. Ireland tops the list, followed by the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium.
Three factors are taken into account to determine the amount for each country: the importance of trade with the UK, the value of fish caught in the UK exclusive economic zone and the size of population living in EU maritime regions closest to the UK.
What can be financed by the fund?
Only measures specifically set up to counter the negative consequences of the UK’s departure from the EU will be eligible for funding. These may include:
- Investment in job creation, including short-term work programmes, re-skilling and training
- Reintegration of EU citizens who have left the UK as a result of Brexit
- Support for businesses (especially SMEs), self-employed people and local communities
- Building customs facilities and ensuring the functioning of border, phytosanitary and security controls
- Certification and licensing schemes
The fund will cover expenditure incurred between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2023.
Fisheries and banking sectors
National governments are free to decide how much money goes to each area. However, countries that depend significantly on fisheries in the UK exclusive economic zone must commit a minimum amount of their national allocation to small-scale coastal fisheries, as well as local and regional communities dependent on fishing activities.
The financial and banking sectors, which may benefit from Brexit, are excluded.