Belfast Telegraph

Agreement must be reached on Irish border Brexit issues, warns business chief

Solutions are needed to Irish border issues after Brexit, a leading business group has said.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said: "With Northern Irish exports to the Republic of Ireland valued at £2.4 billion in 2016, it is vitally important we reach a sensible agreement on the border issue which allows firms on both sides of the border to flourish."

She added it "is clear there is full agreement from both sides of the border on the challenges a mismanaged Brexit would pose to businesses both north and south".

Ms Fairbain met business leaders in Northern Ireland this week to talk about critical issues for cross-border trade.

Danny McCoy, chief executive of Ibec, a group which represents Irish business both domestically and internationally, said: "An early focus on avoiding a hard border with Northern Ireland is vital, but the Irish approach must also be informed by the greater economic importance of the east-west Irish-British trading relationship.

"Across both trade and investments, the outcome of negotiations must not disadvantage Ireland.

"Any future EU-UK deal must facilitate the closest possible, tariff-free economic, trading and business relationship between the EU and UK into the future and should be as broad, comprehensive and as ambitious as possible, covering both goods and services."

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