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British Irish Chamber of Commerce comments on Brexit Developments

In light of the latest Brexit developments, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce released the following press release:

Ireland’s largest export market is the UK, with over 16% of all exports going there and approximately 7% of UK exports go to Ireland, making it the UK’s 5th largest export market. The British Irish Chamber of Commerce (BICC) is open to all those operating in either jurisdiction and will play an important role in the promotion and further development of trade between Ireland and Great Britain.

DIRECTOR GENERAL JOHN MCGRANE: Businesses across these islands will be disappointed by the outcome of last week’s vote.  There is a business imperative that we avoid a ‘no deal’ Brexit.   We now wait to see what the ‘Plan B’ is and hope that it will garner enough support to avoid the prospect of a ‘no deal’ outcome”.

15th January 2019 – The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has reacted to the rejection of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement by UK MPs in Westminster this evening.

Speaking after the vote took place, Director General of the British Irish Chamber, John McGrane said: “The British Irish Chamber regrets the outcome in Westminster last week. The Chamber believes the passing of the Withdrawal Agreement is the only option currently available that will ensure Brexit happens in an orderly way.

“While there are some elements of the Withdrawal Agreement & Political Declaration that we are less comfortable with, ratification of the existing deal would have been a very important step forward.  The current deal has three clear advantages over a ‘no deal’ Brexit: it establishes the terms of the UK’s withdrawal, it ensures an orderly withdrawal – a transition period (with a possible extension), and it offers legal certainty. 

“Although expected, businesses across these islands will be disappointed by the outcome of this evening’s vote and the unprecedented uncertainty that it will cause.  There is a business imperative that we avoid a ‘no deal’ Brexit.   We await the UK Government’s ‘Plan B’ and hope that it will offer a way forward that can not only secure the support of politicians but will also deliver certainty and security for business, trade and jobs.

“Business has long asked for an orderly EU exit by the UK including a transition period that it views as being vital to enable it to prepare properly for any future trading arrangements.”

“Companies of all sizes are now reaching the point of no return, with many now implementing contingency plans that are a large drain on time and money. All this stems from the lingering prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit that will be highly damaging for UK-Ireland trade and must be avoided. With €70bn worth of trade sustaining 400,000 jobs hanging in the balance, the Chamber urges parliamentarians on all sides to come together to find a way forward that avoids this outcome.”

Yvette Cleland CEO of The Clinical Professionals Group commented I have had the privilege of working with the team at BICC, they have worked tirelessly to represent both the UK and Ireland’s businesses interests during this challenging time. My feedback from multiple business leaders has been above everything we need certainty and an orderly exit. We seem to have never been further from this. Perhaps “plan B” will see the EU offer a far better level of clarity on the Backstop? The EU itself seems to be burdened with many challenges of its own currently. The sooner we can get an end point in sight here the better.”

About the BICC

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce first established as a not for profit membership organisation in 2011, in anticipation of the Queen’s visit to Ireland, and following the State visit by President Michael D. Higgins to Britain.

The aim of the chamber is to support the €60 BN annual trade that occurs between UK and Ireland, which also supports over 400K jobs.

The joint chamber engages members from across two islands and five different legislative bodies to promote meaningful dialogue with a common purpose.

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce host several networking opportunities and events to assist members in finding new suppliers and markets. Policy committees that focus on certain sectors enable businesses to examine opportunities, threats and look to the future for collaboration and growth within Europe and beyond.

The Chamber also plays an important role in focusing on the value of two-way trade between the UK and Ireland, for not just businesses but also government and other communities.

It also enables essential access between the governments, policy makers, industry and employers with the benefit for all. Ensuring all viewpoints are heard and discussed in a respectful environment to champion cooperation for the mutual interests of all the stakeholders.