E.U. approves relief funds for member states hurt by Brexit

Published : September 29, 2021 16:43 IST

Brexit has angered French fishermen who have lost access to waters off their coast. Photo: Gary Grimshaw/AP Photo/picture alliance

Ireland and France will be the two top recipients of the aid.

E.U. governments on September 28 greenlit €5.4 billion ($6.3 billion) in emergency aid for member states whose economies are being negatively impacted by Brexit.

What do we know about the relief funds?

The two top recipients of the aid will be Ireland, which will get €1.1 billion, and France, which will receive €735 million. The E.U. has said the money will benefit both public and private entities in the bloc. The money is intended to cover costs and compensate financial losses which were caused by the U.K.'s withdrawal.

The approval of the funds was hailed by Slovenia, which holds the rotating E.U. presidency. "The prompt adoption of the reserve means that much-needed funding will soon be made available to the worst-affected European regions and companies," Slovenian Minister for Development and European Cohesion Policy Zvonko Cernac said.

How has Brexit impacted U.K.-E.U. trade?

Trade has decreased massively between the U.K. and E.U. since Brexit took effect in January. This is despite a deal struck in December between London and Brussels to ensure the tariff-free exchange of goods between the two sides.

An increase in paperwork, general bureaucracy and freight costs has negatively impacted the E.U.-U.K. trade relationship post-Brexit. Brexit has particularly hurt the E.U.'s fishing industry. France, for example, has seen its access to U.K. waters decrease by 25 per cent since the split.

E.U. countries are expected to earmark at least €238 million for fisheries as part of the relief plan. The U.K. has also rolled out economic help for its businesses that were hurt by the divorce. The U.K. has been recently struggling with a shortage of fuel and truck drivers post-Brexit.

wd/aw (AP, AFP)