Speaking in advance of tomorrow’s (29 April 2017) meeting of the EU Council, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot commended the work of the Irish Government so far in ensuring that Irish interests, including those of business, are front and centre when the negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU begin.
“Since the UK took the decision to leave the European Union, we have been actively engaging with our network of chambers to identify the risks and articulate Irish business concerns. Reduction in trade, loss of competitiveness and negative impacts on Irish tourism currently top the list of the most significant concerns for our chambers and their members across the country.
“The uncertainty arising from the process continues to impact business confidence across our network. What our members want to see from the negotiations is a commitment from both sides that stability will be prioritised. Key to this should be a commitment to put in place a realistic transition agreement and to agree a free trade deal as soon as possible.”
“Saturday’s meeting is the first step in what will be a long period of negotiations. As important as it is to articulate the concerns of business to the Brexit negotiating teams, what our members need urgently is to see Government taking immediate steps to help protect the Irish economy from negative impacts by focussing on matters within its control. Significantly increasing investment in infrastructure must be a big part of Budget 2018. Further, providing assistance to trading SMEs who will need support in diversification, innovation and technological advancement, finding new markets and accessing finance must also be central to Government strategy to help mitigate Brexit risks. As an open economy Ireland will always be disproportionately exposed to external threats. Therefore we must not miss this opportunity to invest in the infrastructure needed to protect competitiveness and to develop creative supports for our businesses so that, regardless of potentials shocks, we’re in a stronger position to withstand and overcome.”