Following recent discussions on Ireland's pre-clearance facilities for US bound travellers, Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has stated that retaining such facilities in Ireland is essential for the growth and support of Irish businesses.
Director of Policy at Ibec, Fergal O'Brien said: "In 2015 alone there were 63,000 trips made by Irish residents to the US and Canada for business purposes. The efficient freedom of travel offered by Ireland's pre-clearance facilities is a huge advantage to our country in terms of competition for Foreign Direct Investment from the US and also for indigenous firms needing to collaborate globally. If these facilities are jeopardised, it would have severe knock on effects for businesses located in Ireland and the ability of Irish people to conduct their business operations abroad in an effective manner. We urge the Government, while monitoring the situation closely, and to ensure that Irish business and our competitiveness is not effected by the ongoing political situation."
Irish airports are among a unique number of sites in the world that offer pre-clearance to passengers travelling to the US. By clearing customs and immigration checks before departure, they are then treated as domestic arrivals on reaching the US and thus avoid lengthy travel delays.