This conference presented a timely opportunity to discuss the implications for Ireland posed by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.
It followed the recent completion of Phase 1 of the UK-EU negotiations, including ‘agreement in principle’ on the Irish border and regulation, and the launch of the report Building Stronger Business: Responding to Brexit by competing, innovating and trading detailing the Government’s strategy.
Delegates discussed the Irish Government’s perspective on Brexit, the second round of Brexit negotiations and the Government’s IFS2020 strategy.
Delegates then received an update on the approach being taken by the EU in the second round of its Brexit negotiations with the UK. They also considered the future management of customs on the border with Northern Ireland, including lessons to be learned from the Norwegian-Swedish customs arrangements.
Further sessions examined the latest thinking on preparing the Irish economy for Brexit, means of strengthening indigenous industries, attracting UK businesses and positioning Ireland as the gateway to the EU. Delegates also discussed the potential challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit for Irish businesses, along with policy options around tax, infrastructure, and trade promotion.