Tánaiste Simon Coveney Addresses British Irish Chamber of Commerce Annual Networking Dinner

 

A positive relationship between the EU and the UK, and between Ireland and the UK, is in all of our interests – Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD

Chamber warns that lack of progress in Brexit negotiations is of upmost concern to business

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, updated prominent business and political leaders from across the UK and Ireland on the Government’s current approach to Brexit negotiations at the Chamber’s annual networking dinner in the InterContinental Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 30 May.

A key milestone in the Chamber’s #AGENDA2018 event series sponsored by KPMG and Ulster Bank, the dinner brought together 450 influential figures from the worlds of business, investment and politics to hear the keynote speech by the Tánaiste and an update from the President of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Eoin O’Neill as to how businesses can mitigate risks associated with the current uncertainty in Brexit talks. 

Addressing the dinner, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, said: “Thanks to the work of businesses like those represented here, our trading relationship is thriving – and this Government continues to do everything in its power to ensure that this remains the case. The UK has always been our one of closest partners, and we hope to continue this strong relationship after Brexit. Ireland has been clear in our position that a positive relationship between the EU and the UK, and between Ireland and the UK, is in all of our interests. A prosperous Britain is good for Ireland, and indeed vice versa. It is this firmly-held belief that informs our approach to the Brexit negotiations.”

Eoin O’Neill, the President of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Tánaiste’s address this evening comes at a critical point in Brexit negotiations with the UK due to unveil its preferred future trading framework with the EU. The lack of progress made in talks over recent months is of upmost concern and only heightens the level of uncertainty faced by British and Irish businesses.  With ten months until Brexit, time is quickly running out.

With Northern Ireland now front and centre of the current impasse in Brexit negotiations, it is critical that agreement on the ‘backstop’ be reached in June to allow all parties focus on forging a close trading relationship post-Brexit. This is something which businesses on both sides of the border have been calling for.

An agreement on a new customs arrangement is essential to avoiding a significant disruption in trading flows between the UK and Ireland. Our paper on ‘Big Principles for a Strong Brexit Partnership’ lays out a customs arrangement that can help both governments achieve this aim. Not only would the proposal protect current trading ties across the Irish Sea, it helps avoid the need for a border on the island of Ireland.”

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