Jobs Committee launches key report on Brexit

The Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today launched its ‘Report on the Likely Economic Impact of Brexit with Particular Emphasis on Jobs and Enterprise.’

09 March 2017

Some of the report’s key findings and recommendations include:

• Arguing the case for designated special status for Northern Ireland within the European Union. This special status would protect the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement; access to the EU single market; maintain access to all EU Funding streams and allow the North to remain part of the Common Travel Area.

• The Committee recommends that the enterprise agencies (Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and InterTradeIreland) receive extra funding where necessary to allow them offer the best services possible to businesses in an attempt to mitigate the effects of Brexit.

• A nationwide campaign should be launched to increase awareness surrounding the risks of Brexit to SMEs, both directly and indirectly involved in exporting to the UK and those in vulnerable sectors. The campaign should also direct businesses to the aid that is in place to help them prepare for the consequences of Brexit.

Committee Chair, Mary Butler TD, said, “The uncertainty created by the decision of the UK to leave the European Union has already begun to have a negative impact on the Irish economy. The UK is one of Ireland’s closest economic partners and, as such, Ireland is very exposed to the effects of Brexit. During our hearings, we heard from numerous witnesses that any imposition  of  border  controls  and  tariffs between  Ireland  and  the  UK would negatively impact Ireland’s  trade with  the  UK.  The ease of travel that currently exists between north and south is one of the cornerstones of the Good Friday Agreement and is a boon to border economies. We are therefore recommending designated special status for Northern Ireland within the EU in order to protect both the Peace Process and the Northern economy from turmoil.”

“We are mindful, of course, of the opportunities being mentioned for Irish job creation (notably in financial services), but this report reminds us that the types of opportunities being mentioned for the IFSC and financial services would not replace the jobs lost in rural manufacturing. Rural Ireland must not represent a forgotten opportunity. This is why we are calling for increased investment in infrastructure, especially transport and broadband, across rural Ireland in order to mitigate the consequences of Brexit for rural communities.”

“As expected, the UK decision to leave the EU has already caused significant turbulence globally. The outlook is uncertain for the Irish economy and for job retention and creation, but Ireland must be innovative and proactive in dealing with the consequences of Brexit. It is our Committee’s hope that this report will inform the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation as she and the government work to ensure Ireland’s strategic interests."

Read the report here.


Nuala Walsh,
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Dublin 2.
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Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Mary Butler (Fianna Fáil)


Niall Collins (FF)
Stephen Donnelly (FF)
Tom Neville (FG)
Maurice Quinlivan (SF)
Noel Rock (FG)
Bríd Smith (AAA-PBP)


Aidan Davitt (FF)
Paul Gavan (SF)
Ged Nash (LAB)
James Reilly (FG)