Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today welcomed the EU-UK deal that will allow crucial talks on the future trade relationship to begin in the New Year. The deal provides very important commitments that will ensure no hard border on the island of Ireland and the continuation of the Irish-UK common travel area. It also identifies the need for specific measures to ensure Irish goods can transit smoothly through the UK and on into the rest of the EU post-Brexit. This is a major concern to Irish exporters and importers. It is encouraging to see it explicitly referenced.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: "Today’s deal is a relief for business as it will allow vital trade talks to begin. The specific commitments relating to Ireland and the functioning of the all-island economy are a vital recognition of the unique challenges Irish business faces. This agreement must now inform wider trade talks and deliver an outcome that keeps trade barriers to an absolute minimum and protects jobs. Of course, huge uncertainty remains. The early agreement of an extended transition period would take some of the pressure off. However, a final deal that delivers the closest possible future relationship is the goal. Early agreement on how this can be achieved and a clear roadmap is crucial for business. Ibec looks forward to working with Government and the EU institutions to make this happen.”