The Irish Government must move quickly if we are to place ourselves in a favourable position to enter direct trade talks with a post-Brexit Britain.
That is the view being expressed by former EEC campaigner, Don Hall, a member of the team chosen by then Taoiseach, Jack Lynch to promote Ireland’s entry to the Common Market, and later a campaign manager on behalf of the Fianna Fáil candidates competing in the first direct elections to the European Parliament.
Now a consultant with Dublin-based PR firm, The Hall Company, he said: “sheltering behind the EU is a strategy that has not worked. The reliance we have placed on EU negotiators will not advance Ireland’s cause. We can only hope to make progress by having direct, country-to-country talks outside the EU framework, even if that means upsetting our EU partners”.
“As island nations, closely bound to each other through trade, a shared border, a common language, and the ties that stem from generations of travel and interaction between the two nations, it is natural that Ireland and the UK should be sitting down, face-to-face and at a most senior level, to resolve the cross-border trading arrangements and the future relationship we will enjoy after the dust has settled on Britain’s exit from the EU” he said.
“At present Ireland is in a bad place, having been quite critical of Britain and its plans to leave the EU. Our reliance on the EU’s French negotiator is proving fruitless also” he added.
“Now that the British have made their intentions more clear - rejecting the deal negotiated by the UK government - it is obvious that we can take nothing for granted in reaching agreement in relation to our own needs and objectives”.
“Much as we might hope it were otherwise, a fear is emerging that the EU has lost its power to influence events and protect Ireland’s special interests. The time has come for our Government to look after our own affairs” he concluded.