The Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny says Brexit may jeopardise major cross-border infrastructure projects like the A5 due to uncertainty over European inter-regional funding.
He said “uncertainty” over the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union makes planning for future infrastructural projects difficult.
During a debate in Dáil Éireann he referred to the “cross-border agencies that deal with investment in infrastructure...such as the Narrow Water Bridge, the A5 and the Ulster Canal.”
He stated: “If the money is to be given up front by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform but the Commission decides that, with the UK leaving, INTERREG and the infrastructural funds will no longer continue, we cannot plan in advance.”
He added: “We cannot expect to plan properly if at the end of the process the European Commission will not have anything further to do with Northern Ireland. We need clarity.”
He also said it was important major schemes weren’t abandoned due to a lack of funding.
“We must work with Europe to ensure that major infrastructure projects that are to be implemented will not be stranded because of a lack of funding. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is already very much aware of this. We do not want a halt being called to very necessary infrastructure because of either confusion or an inability to work together, which is the central point of the Deputy’s comments. I would like to think we can process the bigger and smaller infrastructure pieces, including, as the Deputy has said, the 3 billion euros on the table between here and 2020 for the peace process, INTERREG and so on. It was negotiated during our own term as holder of the Presidency back at the start of 2013,” said Mr Kenny.