Sunday 20 August 2017

Act now to offset Brexit nightmare, Government urged

Theresa May: aware of Irish concerns Picture: Getty
Theresa May: aware of Irish concerns Picture: Getty
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Ireland's top Brexit official is to warn TDs and senators that economic opportunities arising from Britain leaving the EU won't offset the negative impact on the economy here.

John Callinan is to tell the Finance Committee that "even in the most benign Brexit scenario a negative impact on our economy is anticipated".

He is to warn that "while there may be some economic opportunities from Brexit, they won't make up for the overall impact expected from Brexit" and that "mitigation action will be required".

However, his submission to the committee also says there are already "significant signals" of financial services sector jobs moving to Ireland.

He predicts other sectors may follow and is to point out that the Government is presenting Dublin as a "strong candidate" for the relocation of the two EU organisations in London - the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority.

The Government is working on a document outlining its approach to mitigating the impact of Brexit on the economy, trade and jobs which is to be published in the coming weeks.

Mr Callinan is the second secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach. He was appointed to the role as part of the Government's response to Brexit.

The EU has agreed that the first phase of Brexit negotiations will focus on the exit bill for Britain, citizens' rights and the Border with the North. Economic and trade issues will be dealt with after that, with a full trade deal not to be concluded until after the UK leaves.

Mr Callinan's submission says this "would almost certainly mean that some sort of transitional arrangements would be required".

The Government's approach was to get recognition of Ireland's particular challenges as the EU prepared for the talks.

Mr Callinan believes this has "borne fruit" as British Prime Minister Theresa May referenced Irish issues in her letter triggering Article 50.

He also points to the EU's negotiating guidelines setting out the objectives of supporting the peace process, working to avoid a hard Border and retaining the common travel area.

Irish Independent

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