Saturday, 21st October 2017
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Farmers, fishermen, food producers and exporters generally should pressure Government to open direct negotiations with Britain to agree post-Brexit arrangements that would be exclusively in the interests of our two countries and not leave matters to EU negotiators whose awareness of our special needs may not be as good as it should be.

The suggestion is made by Don Hall (pictured), a member of the team originally appointed by then Taoiseach Jack Lynch to campaign in support of Ireland’s entry into what began as the European Economic Community and whose Dublin-based corporate affairs consultancy, The Hall Company, represents clients working in the agricultural sector.

Believing that our interests are ‘at risk’ if left solely in the hands of EU negotiators, Hall foresees the likelihood that a post-Brexit Britain will enter into closer trading relationships with countries like New Zealand, Australia and North America through which products that Ireland supplies today could be sourced.

Fearful that the current Brexit negotiations will run into problems that could result in break-up, Hall claims it would be ‘extremely unwise’ for us to place total reliance on negotiators who have little direct knowledge of the relationship that exists between Ireland and Britain or of the dynamics that apply between our two communities.

“Well handled, the future relationship we could agree with Britain for a post-Brexit world could go a long way towards forging closer relationships here, north and south, and could open up new opportunities for our many construction and service sector companies as Britain forges closer trading links with large economies in the United States, India, Africa and throughout the wider world,” he said.

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