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Maurice Quinlivan TD challenges Enterprise Minister on lack of Brexit funding for InterTrade Ireland

3 November, 2016 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Speaking today in the Dáil, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Employment Maurice Quinlivan TD challenged Minister Mitchell–O'Connor regarding the fact that InterTrade Ireland has not been allocated additional funding to meet the challenges posed by Brexit.

Deputy Quinlivan stated that Minister's response was disappointing and that it reflected the poor quality of the government's preparations for the impact on Ireland of Britain's pending exit from the European Union.

He said;

“I pressed Minister Mitchell O'Connor on the fact that InterTrade Ireland is a key cross-border body and that it is crucial that the organisation receives additional funding to meet the challenges posed by Brexit. Enterprise Ireland and the IDA were allocated additional resources in October's budget and rightly so. However, it is not acceptable that an organisation, which performs such important role in fostering cross-border and all-island trade, has been sidelined by the Minister and the goverment when it comes to Brexit preparations.

“I believe that it is now vital that the Minister makes the case to the Taoiseach and to the Cabinet sub-committee on Brexit for substantial additional funding to allow InterTrade Ireland to do the job it was established to do under the Good Friday Agreement.

“Unfortunately, The Minister's response on this matter left a lot to be desired. While she accepted the need for increased budgetary support for InterTrade Ireland, she failed to give any commitments on whether this would actually materialise or on specific amounts.

“Minister Mitchell–O'Connor's response is further evidence that the government of this state is all over the place when it comes to preparing for the impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.

“I am calling on the Minister ensure that InterTrade Ireland is properly resourced and funded so that it can navigate through the turbulence that will inevitably hit Ireland as the storm clouds of Brexit gather.”

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