British Irish Chamber of Commerce reaction to triggering of Article 50

“Early agreement on transition framework essential if we are to avoid deep and dangerous uncertainty” – John McGrane, Director General


The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has reacted to the letter sent by Prime Minister Theresa May to European Council President, Donald Tusk triggering Article 50.

Speaking after contents of the letter were published, Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, John McGrane said:

“The delivery of Prime Minister May’s letter today triggering Article 50 finally puts in motion the reality of the UK withdrawing from the EU. While this is not a move that the Chamber particularly welcomes, it is now imperative that all sides work together in the coming months and years to ensure that a deal is struck that does least harm to the economies of both the UK and Ireland.

“It has been clear since the Prime Minister’s statement in January that the UK Government’s concerns regarding immigration could potentially put at risk the open free trade arrangement that UK currently enjoys with the EU. This is alarming for businesses operating in both the UK and Ireland, many of whom rely on this open bilateral trade between our two countries for the over 400,000 jobs they sustain.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of Ireland in her letter and the importance of maintaining the Common Travel Area between our two islands. This is something that the British Irish Chamber of Commerce has been advocating strongly for and we are hopeful that the EU will respect the integrity of this unique and bilateral arrangement.

“The British Irish Chamber of Commerce stands for the trade between these two islands we will continue to champion this trade through the uncertain and unpredictable times ahead. We want to see both sides negotiate a comprehensive trade deal that will include critical sectors such as agri-food. It must be made known to those around the table that a bad deal for the UK will be a bad deal for Ireland and should be avoided at all costs.

“We also want to see early agreement on a transition framework. This will be essential if we are to avoid deep and dangerous uncertainty that is currently paralysing business decisions across both islands.

“The British Irish Chamber of Commerce now stands ready to support our negotiators by providing practical solutions to the problems we are now faced with. Such action and support 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.”


To read the Prime Minister’s letter to Eurpoean Council President Donald Tusk CLICK HERE



To arrange an interview with John McGrane, please contact:

Nora Eastwood, Q4 Public Relations – / 087 175 4149

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