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Fine Gael is making more than €1 billion available in Budget 2020 to meet the challenges of a No Deal Brexit, says Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality. This allocation is in addition to the Brexit support monies already available to business, agriculture and tourism and an extra €200 million for Government departments and agencies for additional staffing, IT and port and airport infrastructure upgrades.

Minister Stanton said: “This €1.2 billion, which will only be spent in the event of a No Deal Brexit, will be targeted at the people and businesses who need it most. In preparing for No Deal, we can ensure that the Government has the necessary resources at its disposal to meet the impact of Brexit, without requiring an emergency budget, while continuing to keep our public finances on a credible and sustainable path.

“In the event of a No Deal Brexit some €650 million will be made available to support the agriculture, enterprise and tourism sectors to assist the most affected citizens and regions. This funding will be spent in a series of waves rather than all at once to ensure an effective response to Brexit.

“Of this, €220 million will be deployed immediately in the event of a No Deal with €40 million available to support our tourism sector, €110 million for vulnerable enterprises and €110m for agriculture with our beef sector and fishing fleets identified as immediate priorities.

“The sequencing and deployment of the balance of €390 million of Brexit contingency expenditure will be determined as the need arises. This funding will assist our farms, our businesses and our citizens should a No Deal Brexit happen.

“Alongside this, €365 million will also be provided for extra Social Protection expenditure on the Live Register and related schemes with a further €45 million being made available to assist people to access new employment opportunities.

“After a long and difficult journey, balance was finally restored to the public finances last year. Despite the challenges, our economy is now in a strong position but it is imperative that we minimise any future disruption. The budget we are announcing today is designed to protect our recent progress and our economic future”, concluded Minister Stanton.