British Irish Chamber of Commerce Digest

British Irish Chamber of Commerce Digest

Welcome to the Weekly Digest of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce. This informative guide keeps you up to date on the most recent activities of the Chamber, recent news from our members and notable media coverage.

For more information on Chamber activities and opportunities, please contact:

Director General, John McGrane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Director, Corporate Relationships, Yve O'Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Culture, Arts, Sports and Tourism: A Post-Brexit Vision to 2020
Eversheds Sutherland, 29 June 2017

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce Culture, Arts, Sports and Tourism Committee has organised a mini seminar entitled ‘Culture, Arts, Sports and Tourism:  A Post-Brexit Vision to 2020’ kindly sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland.

This event will allow speakers and attendees the opportunity to converse and address the key concerns and potential opportunities that will arise for the Culture, Arts, Sports and Tourism sectors as a consequence of Brexit. All each sector is unique in its own right three key themes transcend each of them notably – Competitiveness, Connectivity and Opportunity’. The purpose of this seminar will be to draw out of the view and opinions of stakeholders within these sectors with analysis from leading experts.

There will be two overarching keynote presentations on Competitiveness and Connectivity, each followed by a Panel discussion, ample time will be made available to all guests to allow for interaction between all participants

Click here for more information. Due to expected high demand to attend this event and that it carries no charge, the Chamber recommends you register early to secure your place.
Should you have any queries regarding this event please contact our Events Manager Alison Cotter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Celtic Connection - A snapshot of Irish and Welsh Life Sciences
British Irish Chamber of Commerce, 20 June 2017

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the South Wales Chamber of Commerce (SWCC) have organised a trade and networking event for the Life Sciences sector at the Life Sciences Hub, Cardiff

Celtic Connection brings together Life Sciences experience from Wales and Ireland, as well as leading experts, academics, investors and advisors. It will enable businesses from across Wales and Ireland to learn more about trading in these two regions and explore potential for increasing trade, growth and routes to market. Julie James AM, Minister for Skills and Science will open the event.

Hotel Accommodation
Participants wishing to stay the night and participate in the MediWales Conference on June 21, guests can avail of a discounted room rate that they have negotiated with the Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff for the 20th of June. Guests can call Reservations directly to book their rooms quoting 53893794.

This event is free but must be prebooked due to restricted space and access requirements.

For more information or to request your place on the Trade delegation, please click here.

British Irish Chamber of Commerce reaction to UK General Election result
British Irish Chamber of Commerce, 9 June 2017

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has reacted to the results of the UK General Election held on 8 June 2017.

Speaking on the morning after the election when the results were close to being finalised, the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Director General, John McGrane said “The results from yesterday’s General Election provide further evidence that the UK remains deeply divided over Brexit and what Brexit actually means. The result would seem to suggest that the “hard Brexit” which the Prime Minister seemed intent on pursuing is not what is wanted by the UK electorate.

“There is a need now for politicians across the UK to work together in the interest of all to secure the best Brexit deal possible. It is essential that politicians of all hues put their differences aside and work for all citizens of the UK to protect their businesses, incomes and standards of living. This means striking a deal that will ensure minimum damage to the economies of the UK, Ireland and Europe that will allow for maximum trade and cooperation between these markets as we forge a new relationship.
Click here to read the full statement.

Hard Brexit with no trade deal could slash cross-Border trade
Irish Times, 13 June 2017
The research finds that the goods trade from the south to the north would likely be hit harder by the imposition of WTO tariffs together with customs checks, with the food and agricultural and textile sectors most affected.

The €2.6bn cross-border trade in goods could fall by up to 17 per cent if Brexit occurs without a trade deal in place leading to the fallback position of the imposition of World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs, according to new research. The imposition of such tariffs is cited as the “worst case scenario” of a hard Brexit in the study, which was commissioned by Intertrade Ireland and conducted by the ESRI.

The research finds that the goods trade from the South to the North would likely be hit harder by the imposition of WTO tariffs together with customs checks, with the food and agricultural and textile sectors most affected. The study takes into account the potential imposition of tariffs, in addition to the effect of possible non-trade barriers (NTBs) such as customs checks and labelling requirements, as well as weakness in sterling.

Meat and dairy sectors would be most acutely affected, with exports of beef from the south hit hardest. In trade from the north to south, half of the overall impact would be attributed to tariffs and NTBs on milk and cream.
Click here to read more

No time to waste in Brexit talks, Michel Barnier warns UK
Financial Times, 12 June 2017

Britain risks crashing out of the EU in March 2019 without a deal on future relations if it “wastes” more of the limited time available for Brexit talks, the union’s chief negotiator has warned.

With Westminster still grappling with the uncertainty of a hung parliament, Michel Barnier urged London to start talks “very quickly” and appoint a negotiating team that is “stable, accountable and with a mandate”.

“Next week, it will be three months after the sending of the Article 50 letter,” he said, referring to the notification of withdrawal talks lasting two years. “We haven’t negotiated, we haven’t progressed. Thus we must begin this negotiation. We are ready as soon as the UK itself is ready.”

A former French foreign minister and two-time European commissioner, Mr Barnier has the challenge of his career in marshalling the EU through one of the most complex negotiations of modern times, all against a March 2019 deadline. That was further complicated last week when Britain’s Conservative government lost its majority just days before talks were due to start, potentially shattering its plans and ability to deliver a deal.

Mr Barnier wants discussions wrapped up by November 2018 at the latest so there is time to ratify the agreements in national and EU parliaments. He dismisses the idea of an extension of the March 2019 exit date. “If we work seriously, I see neither the usefulness nor the interest of pushing back this date. Why? Because every extra delay is a source ... of instability that we don’t need, which the economy doesn’t need, which employment doesn’t need.”

Click here to read more

OECD: UK Economy will slow this year and next
Brexit Border Blog, 12 June 2017

The UK economy will slow in 2017 and 2018 primarily due to uncertainty about the outcome of Brexit talks, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD) in its June Global Economic Outlook.

The OECD assessment is based on the belief that the UK will not be able to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU by May 2019 and will then face WTO tariffs on its exports to Europe.

“This projection assumes that the United Kingdom’s external trade will operate on a most favoured nation basis from April 2019. The uncertainty, and the assumed outcome, is projected to undermine spending, in particular investment. Policies have supported private confidence and consumption, but household spending is projected to ease as the combination of a weakening labour market and higher inflation reduces real wage growth.”

While global growth is expected to strengthen to more than 3.5% next year, in the UK it will fall from 1.6% to 1.0%.  It notes that inflation in the UK has now passed the target rate of 2% a year and puts this down to the effects of sterling’s depreciation.

Click here to read more

What does Brexit mean for British-Irish trade?
RTE Radio 1, 13 June 2017
John McGrane, Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, looks at the next step for British-Irish trade in the wake of the Brexit vote on Morning Ireland earlier today.

Click here to listen to the short segment



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