In response to the triggering of Article 50 by the UK, Ibec today said an assertive national effort is needed to avoid the very real risk of a divisive, damaging Brexit divorce, and the UK crashing out of the EU without a new trade deal or transitional arrangements. The group said it is advising all member companies to examine how Brexit might impact their business and is providing contingency planning support.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: "The combative and hardline UK position has significantly increased the chances of a divisive and damaging split. Irish efforts and influence must be marshalled to ensure this doesn't happen. A far-reaching free trade agreement with minimal trade barriers is desirable, but fair competition must underpin this new EU-UK relationship. Comprehensive transitional arrangements will be needed to avoid a Brexit tariff 'cliff edge'.
"The Irish economy is uniquely exposed. Tailored solutions will be needed to address specific problems. The free travel area between the UK and Ireland must be preserved and the future development of the all-island economy must be prioritised. A comprehensive state aid package is needed to guard against potential economic disruption and dislocation. State agencies will need extra resources so they can better support companies diversifying into new markets."
"The UK threat to slash business taxes and regulation is an indication of the post-Brexit economic reality. Every government decision needs to be ‘Brexit-proofed’. We need to aggressively confront the UK competitiveness challenge and, at the same time, position Ireland to take full advantage of the inward investment opportunities that will arise".
For the full Ibec analysis of UK Prime Minister May's formal triggering of Article 50 and the response of European Council President Donald Tusk, please see the document attached below.