Michael Staines
Michael Staines

17.44 18 Jul 2019


Share this article


The new European Commission President has said the EU may provide emergency help to countries that suffer major job losses due to Brexit.

In an interview with five major European newspapers this afternoon, Ursula Von der Leyen said a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would have “massively negative consequences” for all involved.

She said the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is “not dead” and said she felt the EU should grant a further extension to the process if the UK offered “good reasons” for doing so.

“A Brexit without a deal comes with massively negative consequences for both sides, not to mention what it means for Ireland,” she said.

“That’s why we need to do everything to strive for an orderly Brexit – and that’s why if there are good reasons for an extension coming from our British friends, I am open to listening to them.”

British Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson is seen in Gloucestershire, England | Image: Jacob King/PA Wire/PA Images

Backstop

Both candidates to become the next UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have promised to re-negotiate the Brexit deal and seek changes to the Irish backstop.

Speaking in the European Parliament last week, Ms Von der Leyen said the backstop was “precious, important and has to be defended.”

Today, she said the agreement is “not dead” and remains the basis for any talks with the UK.

“We don’t want a hard Brexit; it’s a bad outcome for both sides. We have a good withdrawal agreement,” she said,

“It is a good agreement, which was negotiated properly in accordance with the red lines drawn by the British government.”

Ursula Von der Leyen Brexit The new European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen. Image: European Parliament

Brexit

The Government’s latest Brexit contingency plans have warned that a no deal scenario will lead to the loss of up to 55,000 Irish jobs and leave €6.5bn hole in the State’s finances in the first year alone.

Ms Von der Leyen said the EU could introduce a European unemployment benefit reinsurance scheme across the bloc to deal with the fallout.

Job losses

She said the scheme could be modelled on measures put in place in Germany in 2008 to cushion the effects of the financial crash.

At the time, the German Government cut down on job losses by introducing a state-subsidised programme to finance reduced working hours.

“We can apply this idea to the whole of Europe,” she said.

“Should an external shock such as a disorderly Brexit hit two or three countries particularly hard, for example, the unemployment reinsurance scheme could come into force.”

She said she could not predict whether Ireland would be one of the countries to benefit if the scheme was put in place.

She warned that outcome of Brexit will determine the UKs relationship with the EU for years to come, adding that “for both sides it is of the highest interest that there is an orderly and good beginning to our future relationships.”


Share this article


Read more about

Backstop Boris Johnson Brexit EC President European Commission President Jeremy Hunt Ursula Von Der Leyen

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

19:00-22:00

Share

Up next

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on