BRUSSELS, Belgium — A five-billion-euro fund to overcome the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal came a big step closer to adoption today after the Council and the European parliament reached a preliminary agreement on the draft regulation.
The deal means that funding from the Brexit adjustment reserve can begin to be disbursed before the end of the year.
The reserve is designed to support all member states while focusing on the most affected regions and sectors.
“Today’s agreement sends a strong signal that European sectors, companies and workers who stand to lose as a result of Brexit will receive urgent and timely support. We are taking swift action to help them deal with any adverse and unforeseen consequences.” ~ Augusto Santos Silva, minister of state and foreign affairs of Portugal, Council Presidency.
The fund is a special one-off emergency instrument. It will be spent on, among other things, compensating businesses for lost trade, preserving jobs, helping fishing communities, and building customs facilities at ports.
The main condition for reimbursing public authorities as well as private companies is that the costs incurred must be directly linked to countering the adverse effects of the UK’s withdrawal.
The co-legislators agreed that the reserve will cover in full or in part measures introduced by member states between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2023. This time frame takes into account the need for mitigating actions before the expiry of the transition period.
The preliminary agreement between the Portuguese presidency of the Council and negotiators from the European Parliament has to be endorsed by the two institutions, before they can proceed to adoption of the regulation.