Tánaiste and Minister for Trade, Simon Coveney TD addressed a large audience of over 200 people at IT Sligo last night on Brexit and the Northwest. The event was organised by Cllr. Sinead Maguire and hosted by IT Sligo.
The Tánaiste was welcomed on behalf of IT Sligo by Dr. Chris O’Malley, VP, Research, Engagement and Innovation at IT Sligo before Mr Coveney gave an overview of where Ireland stands as the deadline for Brexit looms closer.
Speaking at the Brexit event, Tánaiste Coveney stated he was hopeful a no-deal brexit would be avoided but warned the audience it is still a possibility and businesses in the northwest should and must be prepared for all scenarios.
Brexit has caused many headaches for the Government and has forced them to legislate for the most basic daily activities such as allowing trains to travel from Belfast to Dublin in the event of a hard brexit. But the main concern at last night’s discussion was the impact on the Northwest region and in particular the farming community.
In the event of a no-deal brexit tariffs in the dairy and beef industry could hit as high as €1.7bn according to the Tanaiste. The threat to the farming community is one of the most concerning to the Government and Mr Coveney asked farmers to prepare for difficult times ahead.
The possible outcomes of Brexit were discussed among a panel including; Damien McDonald, IFA, Oonagh Monahan, Sligo Women in Business Network, Aidan Flynn, Freight Transport Association of Ireland and Aaron Forde, CEO, Aurivo.