Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today congratulated Leo Varadkar on his election as Taoiseach and said that the business community is looking forward to engaging productively with the new leader to support Government ambitions for job creation and a thriving economy and prosperous society. Ibec called for the Government to safeguard Ireland’s international reputation as a model of business substance and to ensure Ireland is fully prepared to enter into Brexit negotiations from a position of strength.
Ibec CEO, Danny McCoy stated: “We wish the new Taoiseach and his cabinet colleagues well as we enter a really significant period for the country. They will face many tough decisions tackling the big challenges facing us in the coming months, including Brexit and domestic policy matters. It is vital that the Government places a sharp focus on long-term planning for our economy and invests accordingly. Ibec believes that the only way to do this is to put an end to the austerity mind set and substantially increase investment in much needed infrastructure. We urge the Government to reverse its debt reduction strategy of 45% of GDP, which is well below our EU requirements of 60%. Such overly cautious debt management would result in the sacrifice of much needed investment throughout the country."
Speaking on Brexit challenges, Mr McCoy stated: “The unique risks Brexit presents to Ireland must be at the forefront of negotiations at an EU level. These now need to be directly and explicitly addressed by the new Taoiseach so as to secure the best possible terms of a future EU-UK trade deal. Special arrangements will be required to cover the free movement of people, but also the massive trade exposure of key sectors and the potential impact on highly integrated cross-border supply chains.
“Enda Kenny represented our country with great energy and dignity as he steered Ireland towards economic recovery. With the right choices, Mr Varadkar can continue this momentum and bring our country to a new phase of growth and prosperity. For this to happen, all political groupings across the Dail must collaborate to ensure Ireland’s business community can thrive and support a more prosperous Ireland.”