Ireland’s Donohe calls Brexit negotiators for double efforts

Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohe said Brexit negotiating teams should double their “creativity and commitment” to reach an agreement before the end of the year, with officials and governments currently victims of the coronovirus epidemic .

Donohe told CNBC on Friday that the importance of EU-UK negotiations has been enhanced by the global economy in the last few months, sparking the growth of Kovid-19.

“It is so important that we all redouble our efforts and reiterate our creativity and commitment as to whether a path can be found for an agreement because the impact of the very, very difficult Brexit on all participants in global trade is only certain. If we are already dealing with the consequences of Kovid-19, it will increase.

The talks were dealt another blow last week after European Commissioner for Ireland Phil Hogan, who was responsible for the trade, who resigned amid the “Golfgate” scandal. Meaning that the EU negotiating team will shift to the crunch in the coming weeks.

Donohe said that despite the recent upheaval, negotiations under the leadership of next Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier would continue as of the next 31 December deadline.

“There will still be a very strong team within the European Commission, and between Mr. Barnier, the Commission and the new commissioners, whoever it is, I am confident that the work of the Commission will continue to a very high level under Commissioner Hogan.”


It has been a rocky couple of weeks for the Irish Golf Government with “Golfgate”, a controversy over a dinner hosted by a parliamentary golf society in a hotel before August that attracted public attention. More than 80 people from government and industry gathered for dinner, the same week when some Kovid-19 restrictions were again imposed on the public.

Hogan as well as Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Dara Callery resigned after news broke that he was present.

With Hogan out, Ireland is now under pressure to field two candidates for the EU commissioner’s job, with several names swirling as potential picks. But there remains doubt as to whether that person will maintain the business portfolio.

Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohe at the Annual Conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on 26 January 2018.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg Getty Images

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who heads the executive branch of the European Union, said she wanted to represent a man and a woman as candidates for the job as part of her efforts for a gender-balanced commission .

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, who has been a familiar face amid the Brexit negotiations, and European Parliament Member and Vice-Chairman, Mared McGinnas, are nominated for the role.

Domestic challenges

Closer to home, Donohe is facing increasing challenges in rebooting the economy as the average number of daily infections has increased, leading to some re-imposition of restrictions.

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme came into force this week. It is a new version of the Temporary Salary Subsidy Scheme, which covered the salary bills of some employers to prevent job losses and was introduced in March, as the epidemic gained momentum. According to the country’s tax agency, the cost of the scheme is more than 2.7 billion euros.

Many areas of the Irish economy have reopened during the summer, but others are still hobbies. The pubs – which do not serve food – were due to reopen on August 31, following several delays in the lockdown easing schedule, but the public’s hopes were once again dashed.

An industry group for the pub flagged issues with the new salary subsidy scheme, saying it would exclude some part-time workers and make it unsuitable to reopen some pubs if they were unable to retain that employee Huh.

On Friday, the government announced an additional 16 million euro support package for the pub, but it was dismissed as a “palatial gesture” by industry groups.

These are all challenges that will have to contend with Donohe as the books are examined ahead of the budget statement in October, which will take stock of the measures announced in the July stimulus package and chart the way forward.

International pressure on taxpayers as well. Donohe said that it is still possible that talk of an agreement on the digital tax at the OECD level could come up again in 2020.

“I hope that this process can be revisited later in the year, and while I think some kind of compromise is possible in 2020, my own view is that it would be more likely that you could do this work early Will look at the part itself. Next year, “he said.

Any change in how big tech companies are taxed will affect Ireland, which is home to many regional bases for large tech firms.

“I think it is imperative for all of us to try to find ways of progressing on tax issues, as it is without exacerbating the difficulties of business that we already have,” he said.


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