Exporters warn we must plan for 'Brexit'
The Irish Exporters Association has called on Government to put contingency plans in place in case Britain opts to leave the EU.
The Association's chief executive made the plea following the UK's re-election of a Conservative government, which promised British voters a referendum on leaving the EU.
"It is of vital importance that the Government start to develop a plan to prepare for the possibility of a so-called 'Brexit'. It may not happen but it is of critical national importance that we are prepared for the possibility. Scenarios need to be developed assessing the impact on the Irish economy of a possible UK exit from Europe and appropriate action plans prepared" said Simon McKeever, CEO of the association.
The importance of the UK as an export market for Ireland cannot be underestimated, Mr McKeever said. "Economic developments in the UK affect Ireland to a greater extent than developments in any other EU state and one could say than in any other country in the world.
"We are all very aware of the strong ties at a familial and cultural level that exist between our two countries, but most significantly with over €1bn of bilateral trade per week and strong link-ups in key sectors like food and drink, financial services and energy, the two economies are umbilically connected."