Published On: Mon, Sep 2nd, 2019

EU panic: Brussels lists Brexit as ‘major disaster’ like volcanic eruptions and floods | World | News


Under the proposal, the worst-hit EU countries will be able to request cash from the bloc’s Solidarity Fund to deal with the no deal fallout. Countries suffering from “heavy financial burdens” if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement will be able to submit requests to the bloc for emergency aid. The funds are usually reserved for assisting member states recover from natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, forest fires, drought and floods.

The European Union’s Solidarity Fund is described as a “valuable instrument in the EU toolkit for interventions in disaster situations”.

And now eurocrats have submit plans to amend the fund to “provide member states with financial assistance to cover the heavy financial burdens imposed on member states as a result of the withdrawal from the United Kingdom from the Union without agreement”.

The bloc in the last decade has handed out hundreds of millions of euros from its budget to member states recovering from natural disasters.

In 2009, Italy was handed nearly €500m from the solidarity fund after the Abruzzo earthquake, during which 308 people were killed.

Germany received around €360m to help respond to “serious flooding” in 2013. Austria and the Czech Republic were also handed from close to €40m as the neighbouring countries were less affected by the disaster.

Officials have previously claimed Ireland and coastal towns reliant on access to British fishing waters could be recipient of the emergency funds.

Dublin last month suggested that EU funds could be used to help the country recover from a no-deal Brexit.

It is widely acknowledged that the Irish agri-food sector would be left in ruin if Britain quits the bloc without an agreement.

MUST READ: Ireland panic: Coveney ‘preparing Brexit climbdown’

Doubts are growing in Brussels that its negotiation team will be able to get a deal across the line ahead of October 31.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, this weekend warned he is “not optimistic” about avoiding no deal.

And even despite the immediate threat of a hard Brexit, the bloc has vowed to refuse scrapping the backstop.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he said: “I am not optimistic about avoiding a no-deal scenario, but we should all continue to work with determination.

“On the EU side, we had intense discussions with EU member states on the need to guarantee the integrity of the EU’s single market, while keeping that border fully open.

“In this sense the backstop is the maximum amount of flexibility that the EU can offer to a non-member state.”



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