Friday 6 December 2019

BREXIT: Vote will "fundamentally change" Ireland's relationship with UK - Irish business leaders


Michael Cogley

Irish business leaders have reacted to an historic Brexit vote that will see the UK leave the European Union.

Business groups Ibec and Chambers Ireland have expressed their disappointment in the outcome of the referendum that will now see the UK negotiate an exit from the bloc.

Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy said Ireland will be impacted more than any other country by the outcome of the vote.

"It is vital we play a central role in exit negotiations. Our unique economic concerns need to be heard and fully understood, and our interests fully safeguarded in any final agreement.

"It is important that acrimony quickly gives way to pragmatism and that a speedy, mutually beneficially arrangement between the EU and UK is reached. The range of competing interests and concerns make this a difficult task. It is vital that these challenges are overcome and Ireland can play an important role," Mr McCoy said.

Meanwhile Chambers Ireland chief executive Ian Talbot believes the UK will remain a major trade partner for Ireland.

“While this is not the result that we believe is in the long term interests of the Irish economy, the UK will continue to be a key partner for Ireland into the future. The EU and UK now need to focus on measured responses to limit future uncertainty and undertake a sensible, proportionate exit negotiation process that will work for all parties.

"A clear framework for a UK exit must be agreed and put in place that minimises disruption and enables businesses to plan for the new reality. The EU also needs to develop a new program of reform to improve the functioning of the Single Market and the competitiveness of European business.”

The Chambers Ireland CEO went on to say the group feels Ireland's economic future is best placed as a member of the EU.

Meanwhile the Irish Hotels Federation has deemed it "too early" to predict the effect today's result will have on Irish tourism.

"While Ireland’s competitive tourism offering will help mitigate any negative impact, there is a risk that economic uncertainty and a weaker sterling could impact on visitor numbers from the UK, which is our largest source of inbound tourists.

"The Irish Hotels Federation is therefore calling on the Government to set up a dedicated working group to examine the short and long-term implications and to ensure appropriate measures are put in place to enable Irish tourism react quickly," the group said in a statement.

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