Since the people of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union there has been a lot of discussion about what the decision means for UK/Irish relations...and for Ireland itself.
In particular, there has been a focus on what will happen in terms of trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - as well as trade between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land-border with the EU.
UK-Ireland trade is important. In 2015 the UK imported some Euro 14.7 billion from Ireland and exported just under Euro 20 billion to Ireland.
Some of the questions being asked are:
- What will happen if the UK government decides to leave the single market...will this mean a 'hard border' between Northern Ireland and The Republic or will nothing much change?
- What happens (if anything) to the Common Travel Area - the bilateral arrangement between the UK and Ireland that means that people can move across the border without any checks?
- Can an electronic system obviate the need for customs posts?
- Does the devaluation of the £UK mean that Irish exporters will be at a permanent disadvantage (while UK exports to the Republic appear relatively cheap) or will Sterling just float back?
- Will tariffs return if the UK leaves the single market or will common sense prevail?
- What are the opportunities emerging from Brexit for better trade relations between both nations?
- Should Ireland consider following the UK's lead...is Eirexit an option?
These and many other questions may not be answerable until the nature of Brexit becomes clearer. But, by March 2017, we will be closer to the UK initiating Article 50 in order to formally leave the EU. It will be a good time to debate the future for Ireland and the UK in a post-Brexit (and post Brexit-hysteria) world.
As a follow-up to our EU Referendum Business Debate held in Belfast in April 2016, we are delighted to announce a debate and conference that will he held in Dublin on March 2, 2017. Running from 8:30am to 10:30am the event will include leading spokespeople from both sides of the Irish Sea (and beyond). This will be a must-attend event for people in business, government or public affairs to get right up to speed on the latest thinking about British/Irish trade in a post-Brexit world.
We have priced the tickets (just €30 + VAT) to make this affordable to as wide an audience as possible. We are also offering a small number of free tickets to students (please use your university email address if booking a student ticket).
To help debate some of these issues we have a stellar line-up of speakers including:
- Douglas Carswell MP – the first elected Member of Parliament for the UK Independence Party (UKIP)
- Noelle O’Connell – Executive Director, European Movement, Ireland
- Paul Staines – the Libertarian political blogger and publisher of the Guido Fawkes website
- Anthony Coughlan – Associate Professor Emeritus, Social Policy, Trinity College, Dublin
- John McGrane – Director General, British-Irish Chamber of Commerce
- John Longworth – Former Director General, British Chambers of Commerce
- Cormac Lucey – Economics Commentator, Sunday Times (Ireland) and Author, Plan B: How Leaving the Euro Can Save Ireland
- David McCann – Deputy Editor, Slugger O’Toole
- Keith Redmond – Director and Co-Founder, Hibernia Forum
The event will provide invaluable insight into the political decisions that need to be taken as well as the opportunities for trade. The conference will provide a forum for business people, politicians and academics to discuss and network.
The event will be held in the Thomas Prior Hall at Dublin's Clayton Hotel in Ballsbridge and we will provide arrival tea/coffee and pastries on arrival.