Tuesday 18 June 2019

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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

Kelleher demands fresh thinking

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019 4:53pm

Many Irish businesses will be placed in jeopardy in the event of a hard Brexit.

That’s according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise & Innovation Billy Kelleher who also believes that Ireland’s failing competitiveness is risking jobs.

Deputy Kelleher has suggested that the Irish Government should now start the process of seeking state aid approval from the EU to protect badly exposed sectors such as haulage and export-farming in such a circumstance.

“The Government must apply to the European Commission’s Competition Directorate for state aid approval for trading enterprises using port facilities to transport goods to continental Europe, including the UK landbridge in a hard no deal Brexit,” said Deputy Kelleher.

The Irish Maritime Development Office’s (IMDO) recent report, The Implications of Brexit on the Use of the Landbridge, shows that over two million tons of Irish exports, valued at over €18 billion, transit to the EU continental ports via the Great Britain landbridge.

Deputy Kelleher continued: “The IMDO has also highlighted that any introduction of customs and border controls due to Brexit will increase both journey times for exports as well as the regulatory cost burden on Irish trading businesses.

“Ireland’s price profile is described as high cost and rising with particularly acute problems in areas such as property, business services and the cost of credit. Emerging infrastructural deficits, most notably the shortage of housing and rising traffic congestion, is damaging Ireland’s attractiveness as a location to work and invest.

“It was under this provision that the Commission changed state aid ceilings temporally during the financial crisis, thereby enabling Ireland to introduce grant aided schemes to vulnerable exporting businesses in exposed sectors. Given that we are facing the real prospect of a disorderly exit by the UK from the EU, a hard Brexit represents a gigantic disturbance to the Irish economy and should spur the Government into seeking advanced state aid exemptions,” concluded Deputy Kelleher.

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