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Minister Flanagan to deliver keynote speech at IIEA Conference on the risk Brexit poses to business



Minister will highlight the importance of the UK’s contribution to the European Union and how the EU has facilitated cooperation between the UK and Ireland

Minister urges attendees to reach out to their contacts in Britain to share the Irish perspective

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, will today, Thursday 19 May, deliver the opening keynote address at an Institute of European and International Affairs conference, “Brexit: A Risky Business”.

Speaking ahead of the event, Minister Flanagan said:

“Much has been said about the economic and Northern Ireland dimensions of a possible withdrawal by the UK from the EU, and quite rightly. While these are issues of paramount importance in the debate, particularly from an Irish standpoint, it is important not to lose sight of the valuable role of the UK within the European Union and the need for this to be addressed in the debate.

"The EU has provided a forum for Ireland and the UK to work closely together on a wide range of issues, from promoting the completion of the digital single market and promoting policies that support jobs to cooperation on tackling the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and mutual assistance in consular cases, particularly at times of natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

“The UK has contributed a huge amount to the EU over the last four decades of membership and the Irish Government, backed by a chorus of voices around the UK, Ireland and the EU itself, firmly holds that the EU is far better off with 28 members states working together to deliver for our citizens.

“The effectiveness, the internal balance and the credibility of the EU itself would be damaged by a British departure. The EU will be stronger with the UK as a fully engaged member state in the years ahead.”

The Minister encouraged conference attendees to reach out to their contacts in Britain to share the Irish perspective. He said:

“I urge every person here today to set themselves a target of talking to twenty people. Give them the Irish perspective and ask them to spread the word.”

Press Office
19 May 2016

Note for Editors:

  • The conference, sponsored by McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors, is intended to provide a forum for high-level figures in the business world to elaborate on the risks and opportunities inherent in a British exit from the European Union, across a number of key sectors. The half day conference will feature speakers across a number of panels as well as a keynote address by Peter Sutherland, former European Commissioner for Competition and Founding Director General of the WTO.