Northern Ireland’s most senior civil servants have produced research outlining the impact a lack of EU funding will have across Stormont Departments.
Internal emails show that within hours of the UK decision to leave the EU, the head of the civil service Sir Malcom McKibbin asked the permanent secretary of each department for reports “identifying, as best we can at this early stage, the implications of the EU referendum result.”
The Detail used Freedom of Information legislation to obtain the documents, but while five departments refused to release files claiming it would affect the “formulation of government policy”, four departments did release the research revealing a series of issues including:
- Potential loss of EU funding opportunities including €31.8 million up to 2020 from the “Interreg VA Health and Social Care Call”;
- Concerns over the ability to recruit European nurses required to cover “current shortages”, or recruit doctors the health department said it is “currently relying on”;
- “Severe consequences” on the Department for Infrastructure’s budget that could jeopardise major building projects;
- Potential cost implications of tariffs on vehicles and supplies coming from the EU and issues regarding cross border travel as well as the impact on North/South government bodies and investment;
- Difficulties relating to the sharing of intelligence, including criminal records and missing persons, as well EU oversight on issues such as human trafficking would end