Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today said the draft EU guidelines for Brexit negotiations set out a constructive approach towards achieving a smooth transition to a new EU-UK relationship. The principle has been established in both Brussels and London that Brexit presents unique challenges for Ireland that need to be addressed. The government must now work closely with business to set out ambitious and pragmatic ways to achieve this. Ireland must step up and play a central role in shaping the EU approach.
Ibec stressed the need for rapid progress to be made on agreeing the divorce settlement, so that the far more important issue of an EU-UK trade deal can be addressed. The explicit recognition of the need for specific, existing Irish-UK bilateral arrangement to be maintained, is very positive.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: "While future EU-UK trade terms remain a matter of deep concern to business, the desire on the part of the EU and UK to preserve the common travel areas between Ireland and the UK is positive. It is vital that shared interests now guide the mood and timetable of the wider negotiations. A far-reaching free trade agreement with minimal trade barriers is the goal, but fair competition must underpin any new relationship. It is very positive from an Irish business perspective to see the EU support comprehensive transitional arrangements."
"The debate around the EU-UK divorce bill is a minor distraction in economic terms compared to the future trade relationship. Rapid progress needs to be made on exit arrangements, so meaningful trade talks can begin. The EU guidelines clearly provide scope for trade negotiations to start, long before the UK exit date."
Ibec is advising all member companies to examine how Brexit might impact their business and is providing contingency planning support. A new Ibec guide to managing Brexit is available at www.ibec.ie/brexit.
- Brexit Toolkit.pdf - 2,229 Kbytes