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Lionel Laurent

Time to Unlock the Brexit Relief Fund

The U.K.’s looming withdrawal from the EU looks like a good reason to turn on the spending taps.

Brexit relief funds.

Brexit relief funds.

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

If the U.K. parliament can't clean up the Brexit mess, it might be time for Europe to start spending instead. The economic impact of a worst-case no-deal Brexit on the rest of the European Union is estimated to amount to $250 billion by 2030, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Back in 2017, Ireland suggested that was a good reason to deploy one of the bloc’s financial lifelines. Known as the “Globalization Adjustment Fund,” it was intended to support the re-training and re-employment of people who had lost their jobs due to global phenomena like cheap competition abroad, or financial crises. It might now need to do the reverse: Help victims of de-globalization and rising barriers to trade.