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Brexit: Implications, Challenges & Opportunities for Ireland

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On 17 October, at the initiative of NetworkIrlande and under the patronage of the new ambassador of Ireland to France and Honorary President of NetworkIrlande, Patricia O’Brien, three Irish experts presented their analysis of the possible consequences of Brexit for the Irish economy.

More than for any other European country, Brexit poses significant challenges to trade, industry, agriculture and the national economy in general in Ireland.

Presentations by Rory Montgomery, Second Secretary General, European Union Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Anne Lanigan, Head of the Brexit Unit at Enterprise Ireland and Shane Hamill, Brexit Trade Specialist, Bord Bia, highlighted the challenges and possibile opportunies of Britain’s decision for Ireland.

Britain is Ireland’s largest bilateral trading partner.  Almost all irish companies will be adversely affected by Brexit.  Among the issues they will need to address and find answers are: distribution of merchandise via English retailers, foreign exchange costs, customs duties, and the employment of Irish personnel within UK subsidiaries.

It will be essential to develop alternative markets and strengthen traditional markets such as France, and do so without withdrawing from the British market, and without breaking connections with it.

No-one can answer the question today as to what will be the real impact of Brexit on Ireland.  However, it is certain, according to the three speakers, that Ireland will have to be inventive and well-prepared to deal with what lies ahead.  In this regard, Richard Dujardin, President of NetworkIrlande, said he had no doubt about Ireland's ability to cope with, and adapt to, this new situation.


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