Published: Wed, 21 March 2018
Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament will host a gathering of Irish business representatives, EU Commissioners, MEPs and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, at the annual St Patrick’s Day reception at the European Parliament in Brussels later today (Wednesday). The meeting of senior EU politicians and business representatives will focus on the future of Europe, trading opportunities and showcase Ireland’s innovative and thriving business sector.
“Ireland remains Europe’s fastest growing economy, yet we are fully aware that challenges that exist for the business sector, for job creation and for the quality of our citizen’s lives. The potential trading impact of Brexit is of course a major concern for Ireland, but the Irish government and MEPs are successfully working closely with our EU partners to ensure our position is understood with the result that on Irish Brexit issues the EU27 stands fully united.
“I look forward to hosting this timely event with the EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, due to address this evening’s gathering. We’ll also hear from the EU Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen, EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani and from the Irish business community represented by Ibec CEO Danny McCoy,” said Mr Kelly.
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, will launch its priorities for the Future of Europe debate this evening, calling for a deepening of the Single Market to create significant new economic opportunities and drive job creation.
“We are at a crucial point in the Brexit negotiations, just one year out from the UK’s planned exit from the EU on 29 March 2019, and with agreement on a transition period needed. Some progress has been made but we have a long road ahead, with some of the toughest negotiations yet to be tackled in terms of trade. Uncertainty is bad for business. Ireland and all EU countries must strive to deal with such challenges together, as best we can, while seeking out new trading opportunities,” added Mr Kelly.