Brexit Breakfast Briefing in Kilkenny tomorrow
Brexit Breakfast Briefing, (there’s a mouthful) organised by the Local Enterprise office and with Tanaiste Simon Coveney as guest speaker, is sure to be a very filling start to the day this coming Friday.
Local business people, among others, will be in attendance hoping for some insight and nuggets of information from the Tanaiste, who has sat across the table from our near neighbours more often than anyone else during these negotiations.
While Kilkenny is not a border county, we do have local, home grown concerns based on our agri-economy and tourism sector.
And the two sectors previously mentioned have had the most difficult start to the year thanks to our overly wet Spring.
Farmers and the fodder crisis in particular is going to be an ongoing issue, while sunny days have been few and far between for the local tourism trade to benefit from.
The confidence indicator among the tourism industry in the Ancient East - where Kilkenny is the major player - shows a decline from a high of 65% in 2016 to 45% now - ever since the UK referendum decision to leave.
So we would all love to know how Brexit will fare for us both as a nation and in this region. On the face of it, there are very few coherent answers from a divided UK government, parliament and people.
Brexit is not of Ireland’s or the EU’s making and negotiating teams from these parties are ensuring that Ireland is not penalised in any way.
While we look forward to continuing to develop trade with our nearest and biggest trading partners, clarity is what is required for local businesses to develop.
In fairness we have not stood ildy by and the search for new markets is ongoing. Advice and insight from the Tanaiste will be most welcome a year out from the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.