Brexit forces Enterprise Ireland to bolster Irish exporters to UK

24 Jun 2016

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Julie Sinnamon

Irish exporters to the UK are to receive support from Enterprise Ireland to remain competitive and active in the UK market following the calamitous decision by Britain to leave the European Union.

Enterprise Ireland acknowledged that the UK vote to leave the EU will present challenges for Irish companies exporting to the UK.

Its response is to reveal a number of supports, including information, market diversification, a sector clustering strategy, UK in-market supports and market development and competitiveness supports.

‘Enterprise Ireland will continue to work with our clients to help them develop a more competitive position in the UK’

The agency said that the immediate impact on Irish exporters will be around exchange rate volatility.

“The UK is a key market for Irish exporters and will continue to be one of our largest export markets,” Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon said.

“Ireland is a strong, open and competitive economy and while the result will pose challenges for Irish exporters, now that it is known, we will move forward and implement plans to help our client companies deal with the impacts.

“In addition to our team in the UK, we have put in place a dedicated email address, phone line and team for Enterprise Ireland clients to respond to their immediate concerns and issues.”

Trade implications

Sinnamon said that it is worth remembering that there will be a period of at least two years while negotiations take place between the EU and the UK about the specific trade implications.

She added that outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will not be invoked immediately.

“In this period, Enterprise Ireland will continue to work with our clients to help them develop a more competitive position in the UK, and also to diversify into other growth markets, including the US, northern Europe and Asia-Pacific, all of which experienced significant growth in 2015.

“We will be closely monitoring the situation over the coming days and responding appropriately to our client needs,” Sinnamon said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years