CEO Update: Twin challenges of Covid and Brexit

December 23, 2020

Wednesday 23 December 2020

The latest CEO Update newsletter to Ibec members from Danny McCoy

Dear Member, 

As we approach the Christmas break, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with some final updates on the twin challenges of Covid and Brexit which have occupied the attentions of so many business leaders during 2020.

In our reaction to yesterday’s announcement of the latest Government Covid restrictions, we reflected that the measures were again devastating for so many businesses which have already suffered so much loss and disruption during the year, but were proportionate to the public health challenges we are now facing. Recent developments internationally and across the island meant that additional restrictions were now necessary. We again called on Government to further enhance the support measures available to those impacted businesses. The overall strength of the economy, and the resilience of so many sectors of business, means that the State has the resources to target supports at those business worst impacted by the crisis. 

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be working with Government to support the rollout of the vaccine and to address the many workplace and business issues which will arise. While it gives us all great hope for 2021 that the vaccine rollout will shortly commence, we know that there are still hard yards ahead in the fight against Covid. Government has committed to working with us to explore how a managed and safe return to office can be achieved during the New Year and this is just one of the many Covid related issues that we will continue to advocate for on your behalf over the coming months. 

In relation to Brexit, negotiations on a future relationship are continuing right up to the Christmas break. It remains vital for Irish, EU and UK business that a deal is ultimately reached and costly tariffs are avoided. While the progress on the future relationship has been painstakingly slow, last week saw the welcome and important completion of the agreement on the Northern Ireland / Ireland Protocol. Irrespective of the outcome of the wider negotiations, the Protocol will come into force from 1 January and will help support business operations and the wider shared island economy. The Ibec team has produced a detailed analysis of how the Protocol will operate in practice and how it will impact on your business. Further Brexit resources are available here

As we head into 2021, the challenges of Brexit and Covid will inevitably remain with us but we know that we are facing these uncertainties from a position of strength. The Irish economy has proven exceptionally resilient during this most difficult year and it is well set for the buoyant recovery which will inevitably follow this crisis. 

Finally, I want to thank you for all your support to Ibec throughout the year. It has been a difficult and uncertain year for all of us but through our collective approach we have maintained business continuity in the vast majority of organisations and generated the resources to support those businesses which were restricted from operating normally. 

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and restful Christmas and look forward to working with you and on your behalf to shape a prosperous 2021. 

Happy Christmas,

Danny McCoy
Ibec CEO