Our paper charts a pragmatic way forward and outlines several practical solutions to overcoming some of the major challenges faced by the business community - in Ireland and throughout the EU. Uniquely, we have worked hard to ensure our proposals are compatible with existing EU frameworks, insofar as possible. We also highlight the significant alleviation measures which may be required to support business in the event of a divisive, disruptive withdrawal.
Ibec asserts that it is in everyone's best interest to maintain the closest possible relationship between the EU and the UK. The future trading framework should be as broad, comprehensive and ambitious as possible.
Our specific recommendations include the following:
Trade: It is in everyone's overwhelming economic interest for the UK to remain in the EU customs union, but if not, close cooperation and simplified custom procedures will be needed. An agreement on trade and customs on the island of Ireland should be framed in the first phase of talks. The UK and EU should also agree a common transit system as early as possible in the negotiation process.
Customs: Close cooperation between customs authorities is vital, with new pre-clearance procedures and mutual recognition. Any tariff and tariff rate quotas that form part of a future EU-UK FTA must fully take into account existing trade flows. Businesses will need significant support to train staff in new customs procedures and upgrade IT systems, while customs authorities will need additional resources to address Brexit pressures.
Single Market and regulation: A new EU-UK regulatory cooperation framework will be required to support close cooperation and minimise regulatory divergence. Any new EU-UK FTA must include comprehensive, legally enforceable commitments to fair competition.
Common Travel Area and all island economy: The existing Ireland-UK Common Travel Area must be maintained and a commitment to supporting the Northern Ireland Peace Process must inform every decision. The future development of the all island economy must be an explicit shared EU-UK objective, matched with ongoing funding for key all island projects.
Alleviation measures: A temporary EU state aid framework is needed to support companies through any adjustment period and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund should be reformed to ensure it can address the economic fall out of Brexit. Funds amounting to 5% of the value of current annual indigenous export sales to the UK will be needed annually from domestic and EU sources to help Irish companies innovate, diversify into new markets, train staff and invest for the future.
A copy of the paper can be accessed below. For more information about Ibec's Brexit campaign and related activities please visit our dedicated web portal via this link.
- Ibec - Brexit - challenges with solutions.pdf - 1,675 Kbytes
Monday, 19 June 2017