British Irish Chamber of Commerce calls for tailored EU-UK Customs Union Arrangement

Customs agreement best provides certainty and enables frictionless EU-UK trade

7 th September 2017 – The British Irish Chamber of Commerce called on the United Kingdom to seek
a tailored customs union arrangement with the EU post-Brexit, at its Annual Gala Dinner sponsored
by Bank of Ireland held in the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin this evening.

In making the announcement, Eoin O’Neill, President of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Over the coming months, the Chamber will be advocating strongly for the UK to seek a tailored
customs arrangement with the EU. We believe such an outcome will best protect the interests of
business on these islands and will provide a pragmatic basis for the UK Government to meet its own
objectives without disrupting the flow of business. UK goods and services would benefit from
frictionless trade with the EU and those countries which the EU has trading agreements with.

“Agreement on a transitionary arrangement is now critical if we are to avoid any disruption in
trading flows between the UK withdrawing from the EU and the new customs union agreement
coming into force. This should be agreed on the basis of the UK remaining in the Single Market and
the current EU Customs Union. Certainty of approach is essential for business.”

Over 450 prominent business and political leaders from across Britain and Ireland were present at
the dinner to hear keynote speeches from the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and
Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD, and the former European Commissioner for Trade and UK
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Lord Mandelson.

Addressing the dinner, the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances
Fitzgerald TD said:

“This evening’s event demonstrates the strength of the €1.2 billion a week trading relationship
between the UK and Ireland. The Government shares the objective of having a close partnership
with the UK after they leave the EU, but time is running out. As Minister for Business, Enterprise &
Innovation, I’m acutely aware that businesses are becoming increasingly anxious. The UK
Government must propose a way forward which doesn’t reintroduce the border, which doesn’t turn
the direction of travel of the peace process backwards, and which doesn’t inhibit the vital flow of
trade here.”

Mark Cunningham, Managing Director of Business Banking at Bank of Ireland, said:

“Bank of Ireland is proud to be a founding member of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce. As a
business serving customers on the island of Ireland and in Great Britain, we value a strong economic
partnership between our two islands. While it may be some time before clarity emerges, it is
imperative that our business customers anticipate scenarios and devise plans to capitalise on
potential opportunities and mitigate possible risks. With this objective in mind, we have a number of
initiatives in place to help our customers better prepare for this significant challenge.”


For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Q4 Public Relations
Paul Nallon / 086 869 4041 /

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