Ibec CEO Danny McCoy this week met British Prime Minister Theresa May, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Business Secretary Greg Clark in Downing St as part of a delegation of key EU business federations, where he stressed the need for urgent progress in Brexit talks.
At the meeting, Mr McCoy set out a number of immediate and specific Irish business concerns and emphasised that EU and UK businesses will need an extended transition period to plan and adapt to any new EU-UK trading relationship. McCoy stressed that this period should ensure continuity with existing trading terms.
The Ibec CEO warned that short-term and short-sighted political pressures must not overtake the overriding and obvious economic rationale for such arrangements.
Speaking on Monday, McCoy said, "While the meeting itself is testimony to an increasing recognition in Downing St that business and economic concerns need to better inform the UK approach, the unstable political backdrop remains a concern. The polarised and fraught nature of the British debate is not conducive to the sophisticated compromises needed to steer the country away from a divisive, damaging divorce."
He added, "While EU-UK relations have and will continue to come under strain as negotiations progress, it is important to remind ourselves that UK fortunes will be linked to those of the EU, even after Brexit. The closest possible future relationship is in all our interests."