Chambers Ireland has welcomed the Brexit guarantee of ‘no hard border’ between Ireland and Northern Ireland, following the announcement that both negotiating teams are ready to move into the second phase of talks.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May and the European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announced the agreement at a press conference early on Friday, December 8. The key points of the deal are a guarantee of no hard border in Ireland and that the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom will be maintained. It has also been agreed that EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa will have rights to live, work and study protected. Special arrangements for Irish people in the UK and British people in Ireland will also continue. A financial settlement of the UK’s liabilities to the EU has also been reached.
Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot commented on the news: “We welcome UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s commitment to upholding the Good Friday Agreement with a guarantee of no hard border on the island of Ireland and congratulate all parties on reaching a successful outcome. The business community particularly welcomes news that that there will be an Irish chapter of trade negotiations going into phase two of the talks. Ensuring that Ireland’s unique circumstances will continue to be recognised as part of the ongoing Brexit negotiations is a remarkable achievement on behalf of the Government.”
The announcement has also been welcomed by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce. Speaking in Brussels during the course of meeting with EU Brexit negotiators, John McGrane, Director-General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said: “The British Irish Chamber of Commerce very much welcomes the overnight breakthrough in Brexit negotiations. Businesses will be relieved by the commitment of the UK to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland by maintaining full regulatory alignment with EU Single Market and Customs Union rules.”