Protecting GFA & all-island economy paramount - Ibec

February 15, 2019

At today’s All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit in Dublin Castle, Ibec stressed that the vital needs of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, the Peace Process and the continuing functioning of the all-island economy must remain paramount during the Brexit process. The group said that a deepening of the commitments for a future EU-UK trade relationship had the potential to reduce the likelihood of the ‘backstop’ ever being required, while at the same time addressing key concerns of Irish, wider-EU and UK business. Ibec reiterated its position that ratification of the draft EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement is an essential first step to an orderly UK exit.

Speaking after the meeting, Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: ““For Irish business, a cliff edge ‘no deal’ outcome would be a major shock and must be avoided. Acute trade bottlenecks would be created overnight, jobs and businesses would be immediately on the line. Taking a ‘no deal’ cliff edge off the table entirely is the priority, but business also needs clarity on how a ‘no deal’ outcome would be managed across all of Government and on the ground, from day one. Even in worst case scenarios, we need a phased transition to a new trading relationship and a compliance trajectory that minimises disruption.”

“It is crucial that Brexit does not undermine the development and functioning of Ireland’s all-island economy. So much has been achieved over recent decades. Many businesses operate on an all-island basis, have deeply integrated all-island supply chains and rely on a coordinated approach to public investment and planning. This was made possible by shared EU membership and the Good Friday Agreement. There must be no return to a hard border.”