20th April 2017

The decision to call a snap election last Tuesday has added an extra layer of uncertainty to the future of European politics and Brexit negotiations.

Regardless of the electoral outcome, Ireland is facing acute economic fallout after the fateful referendum on June 23rd, 2016. A Conservative win could give the hard Brexiteers a stronger mandate for an aggressive divorce. In this case, Ireland will need to plan accordingly.

With this in mind, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce met with British PMs yesterday to voice concerns over a hard Brexit. Cpl were in attendance and raised the issues of job losses and maintaining strong trade links with the UK.

Cpl CEO and IBEC president Anne Heraty stressed that the main pressure points for Irish business right now are the common travel border and recognition of Irish degrees in the UK. ‘The common travel area is high on the agenda for those negotiating Brexit and is most at risk’. Our economy depends on free travel and has been fuelled by experienced, knowledgeable multinational talent. A soft Brexit is more in our interests as it allows businesses to remain flexible.

Over 400,000 jobs are directly supported by trade and free movement. Tens of thousands move across the Irish Sea each year for a myriad of reasons – education, family, business, career change etc. Not to mention our trade links with Britain. Ireland exports €15.6 billion worth of goods to the UK – 14% of our total exports. This goes to show the incredible level of interconnectedness between our two economies.

Watch the full interview here

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