Business Group Ibec Makes Recommendations For Brexit Negotiations
Ibec, the group that represents Irish businesses, has published a new report outlining a set of proposals to progress EU-UK negotiations and limit the negative impact of Brexit on business and the economy.
The report, Brexit: Challenges with solutions, highlights a 'pragmatic way forward', and includes recommendations with regards to a smooth exit, transitional arrangements, future trading relationships, the unique challenges for Ireland, and the future of the EU.
Risks And Challenges
"The economic risks and political challenges of Brexit are crystallising in the UK," said Danny McCoy, Ibec CEO. "Living standards are being squeezed and investment is being deferred or going elsewhere in Europe. With the Brexit clock ticking, the UK must quickly reassess and redefine its Brexit approach."
"The concerns of business in the UK, Ireland and across Europe must inform the UK approach and the EU response. The Irish economy is powering ahead and is well positioned to respond to any Brexit upheaval, but the risks are very real. Brexit is a threat to our living standards and our economic ambition. There can be no complacency."
The Ibec report notes that it is in everyone's 'overwhelming economic interest' for the UK to remain in the EU customs union, but if not, close cooperation and simplified custom procedures will be needed. As a result, customs authorities will require additional resources to address Brexit pressures.
The group also reports that a new EU-UK regulatory cooperation framework will be required to support close cooperation and minimise regulatory divergence, and a temporary EU state aid framework is needed to support companies through any adjustment period.
Unique Irish Position
The report highlights the unique economic and political challenges for Ireland, as a result of a shared border, high levels of trade, and the political history between the two countries.
It notes that the Ireland-UK common travel area should be maintained, and that all decisions need to support the Northern Ireland Peace Process.
"An early focus on avoiding a hard border with Northern Ireland is vital, but the Irish approach must also be informed by the greater economic importance of the east-west Irish-British trading relationship," said McCoy. "Across both trade and investments, the outcome of negotiations must not disadvantage Ireland."
Ibec says that this report aims to provide 'pragmatic solutions' as a strong economic and trading relationship would be in everyone's interest.
"A new free trade agreement should be as broad, comprehensive and as ambitious as possible, covering both goods and services," said McCoy. "However, a deal must not undermine the coherence and integrity of the EU single market and must ensure fair competition."
"The Ibec report aims to help shift the debate from political posturing to pragmatic solutions, but the way forward remains unclear. A post-Brexit EU must take full advantage of Europe's collective strength and influence, but not limit the capacity of member states to respond quickly to external shocks."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.