Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, says the new UK white paper on the future EU-UK relationship was a significant development, which will allow meaningful negotiations to take place over the coming weeks.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “We now have UK proposals that recognise the value of comprehensive future alignment across many areas. The UK paper points towards a less disruptive Brexit, but complex challenges remain. The most immediate is the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’. The December political agreement must be translated into an agreed legal text soon if we are to make progress.
“Business needs a final deal that covers both goods and services, and keeps the EU and UK closely aligned. An outcome that delivers this is not yet in sight, but today’s paper moves the debate on. A quick conclusion of the withdrawal agreement is vital, so the transition period can be put on a firm legal basis. This will provide extra time and space to negotiate a future close EU-UK relationship. Ibec continues to advise companies to put in place contingency plans for all outcomes.”