British Irish Chamber of Commerce reaction to PM Theresa May’s Brexit statement

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Tuesday 17th January, 2017 – The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has reacted to the statement made by Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit this morning.

Speaking after Mrs May made her statement, Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, John McGrane said:

“We welcome that the Prime Minister has made a statement on her intentions for the Brexit negotiations ahead of the triggering of Article 50 later this year. While some of the content of what Mrs May said raises some concern, it is helpful that at least now the waiting is over and we have a good sense of what the UK negotiating position will be.

“It is clear from this statement that the UK Government’s concerns regarding immigration outweigh their need to retain membership of the EU single market and customs union. This will be alarming for businesses operating in both the UK and Ireland, many of whom rely on the bilateral trade between our two countries for the over 400,000 jobs they sustain.

“The British Irish Chamber of Commerce stands for the trade between these two islands and the enhancement of this relationship will continue to be our focus. We welcome Mrs May’s emphasis on the importance of negotiating a new trading relationship post-Brexit and we stand ready to work with public representatives in both the UK and Ireland to help ensure that the importance of this relationship is understood by our other EU neighbours.

“Given Ireland’s greater dependence on UK trade than any other EU country, we feel it is only right that the EU understands the importance of this relationship for both islands and accommodates the special trading relationship between us. This includes maintaining the Common Travel Area limiting border control on the island of Ireland.

“Such steps will not only help ensure that Ireland is not adversely affected by a decision that is not of its own making, but will also have broader benefits for the island of Ireland as whole and will help protect the €1.3 billion of weekly bilateral trade that we currently enjoy.”




For more information, or to interview John McGrane, please contact:

Nora Eastwood / / +353 87 175 4149

About the British Irish Chamber of Commerce

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce is a private sector trade organisation, founded in 2011 to represent businesses and employers with interests in the two islands of Great Britain and Ireland. The Chamber’s mission is to highlight, protect and grow the trade between Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. That trade is worth €1.3 billion a week or €60 billion a year and it supports 400,000 jobs, about evenly between the two islands.

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