Ministers to discuss measures to protect SMEs in event of hard Brexit

Ministers to discuss measures to protect SMEs in event of hard Brexit

Protections for businesses as well as healthcare access in the event of a crash-out Brexit will be discussed by ministers at their weekly Cabinet meeting.

Measures to protect SMEs and changes so that patients from the North can still be treated in EU countries will be among Brexit-related issues discussed.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney will brief colleagues with a memo on ongoing efforts to inform the public about registering with authorities or applying for grants. In particular, there will be a focus on small firms being made aware of supports.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone will also bring proposals so that British people living here after Brexit can still access services under the national childcare scheme, in line with arrangements under the common travel area.

A major public awareness campaign is expected to get under way in the weeks ahead as the Brexit agreement deadline of October 31 draws nearer.

TV, radio, and newspaper advertisements are also expected to go ahead in a bid to increase awareness about preparations for a hard Brexit.

Ministers, including Mr Coveney, , including the foreign affairs minister, are also expected to use the National Ploughing Championships as a way to promote Brexit plans among the thousands who are expected to attend the event.

A number of seminars will be held at the Carlow site and State agencies will be hosted at a special Government of Ireland village at the event.

Elsewhere, Health Minister Simon Harris is expected to outline changes to help guarantee access for patients from the North to healthcare facilities that exist under the EU health insurance card system.

As the Dáil resumes after the summer break, Brexit is expected to dominate proceedings.

Questions about cervical cancer care, the children’s hospital overspend, and the rural broadband project are also expected to feature among issues debated by TDs in the weeks ahead.

A priority among parties and ministers will be the preparation for next month’s budget. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced last week that Budget 2020 would be based on the premise that there would be a no-deal Brexit.

The minister will also take questions today at the Oireachtas Budget Oversight Committee where members will ask for more detail about spending plans.

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