Home Directory Matheson Former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, Addresses Matheson New York Briefing on 'Navigating Access to the EU Market Post-Brexit: Perspectives on Ireland'

Former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, Addresses Matheson New York Briefing on 'Navigating Access to the EU Market Post-Brexit: Perspectives on Ireland'

The transition period for the UK to leave the EU post the Brexit vote should be ‘as long as it takes to find a solution’, according to former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny who was speaking to Bloomberg TV in New York yesterday ahead of a Brexit themed conference organised by Matheson - Ireland’s leading law firm for internationally focused companies doing business in and through Ireland.

Kenny also described the prospect of a hard Brexit as ‘catastrophic for business’ and noted that ‘sufficient progress had not been made’ to allow negotiations move on to their second phase.

Over 200 people from a wide range of sectors attended the ‘Navigating Access to the EU Market Post-Brexit: Perspectives on Ireland’ event in New York, including Ireland’s foreign direct investment agency, IDA Ireland.

Speaking at the conference, Matheson Managing Partner, Michael Jackson, said that almost 16 months on from the Brexit vote result, US multinationals with operations in Europe are still seeking certainty: 

“In the absence of the necessary clarity around Brexit, businesses are now making decisions to secure their long-term ability to access European markets beyond Brexit. Ireland’s proven track record of supporting internationally-focussed companies means that it is strongly positioned to partner with these companies as they now make decisions around their medium to long-term plans.  Ireland is committed to remaining at the heart of the EU and EU decision-making, and has a history of providing legal and regulatory certainty, tax certainty, access to European markets and substance. Ireland will be the only English-speaking, common law country in the EU post-Brexit and it is committed to its 12.5% corporation tax rate.”

Mr Kenny said:
“Nowhere is the challenge of politics and taking decisions in the interests of the people more clearly demonstrated than in trying to deal with the consequences of the Brexit vote in the UK.  And when it comes to the negotiations between the UK government and the EU I believe that not enough progress has been made in the first phase of talks to allow progression to the second phase. It’s also my view that a transition arrangement will be necessary, if and when the two-year timetable for negotiations is not met, and I think that transition period should take as long as is required to find a solution that works in the interest of all the people affected. Finally, the prospect of a ‘Hard Brexit’ that many are now discussing would, in my opinion, be catastrophic for business and by extension terrible for the people that politics is meant to serve. That is the challenge now for those involved directly in the ongoing talks.”

Head of Matheson US Offices John Ryan said:
“Notwithstanding the uncertainty around global trade policy as well as US tax reform and the challenges around Brexit, Matheson sees the Irish-US relationship growing stronger and Ireland becoming an even more important gateway to EU markets for US companies.”


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