Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today responded to the call by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) for the UK to remain in a customs union with the EU post-Brexit. The CBI will set out the position tomorrow at an address at the University of Warwick. The CBI will also call for the future EU-UK relationship to be firmly based on established, existing shared rules, which already support millions of jobs and communities across Europe.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “UK Brexit policy continues to be shaped by domestic political concerns, not economic considerations. We all stand to lose out as a result. The UK plan to leave the customs union is at odds with the economic interest of both the UK and EU. It will disrupt existing trade flows, add new financial and administrative costs and put jobs at risk. It also creates massive challenges in managing the border with Northern Ireland. It is vital that concerns of business inform the approach of all parties to negotiations.
“The UK remaining in a customs union would partially offset the negative impact of Brexit on jobs and the economy in the UK, Ireland and the wider EU. It would also go some way to resolving the challenges posed by the trade border with Northern Ireland. However, without a UK commitment to the single market, significant problems for Irish business remain.
“While EU-UK relations have come under strain in negotiations, it is important to remind ourselves that UK fortunes will be linked to those of the EU, even after Brexit. The closest possible future relationship is in all our interests.”