An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said yesterday that realising the "untapped potential and inherent benefits of the all-island economy" will be central to supporting economic recovery and growth for Ireland, north and south.
The Taoiseach was addressing CEOs via video link at a virtual event last night, attended by Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies, hosted by corporate law firm A&L Goodbody (ALG) in partnership with Ulster Business magazine.
Each year, the ALG event celebrates the achievements and economic impact of the Top 100 companies, according to the rankings published annually by Ulster Business.
Mr Martin told attendees that the Irish Government will work with the Northern Ireland Executive through the North South Ministerial Council to deal with strategic challenges facing Ireland, north and south, in the years ahead.
These include overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic, tackling climate breakdown and maximising economic opportunity for the people across the island.
Together with ALG partners and representatives from Ulster Business, the Top 100 CEOs also heard from the Taoiseach on Brexit. Whilst acknowledging that progress has been made in Brexit negotiations, he warned that significant gaps remain, including in the areas of fisheries, level playing field provisions and governance.
Speaking last night, the Taoiseach said, "Brexit involves change for all of us, but the protocol also brings the advantage to Northern Ireland of guaranteed access to the European Union Single Market. It should work for the businesses and people of Northern Ireland, and for the all-island economy in as smooth a manner as possible. It is vitally important that the Withdrawal Agreement, including the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, is fully implemented and that you in the business sector have clarity and certainty on its operations."