United Europe hosted a discussion with guest panellists Christine-Anne Chévry of Airbus Helicopter, Florence Kaminska of DoCoMo Digital, Stuart Harbison of Hume Brophy and Neale Richmond, Member of Parliament in Ireland. Tony Connelly of the Irish state broadcaster RTE was the moderator for the evening.
The discussion opened with a short synopsis on the state of play in negotiations between the EU and the UK with the outlook that the chances of a deal were currently looking slim.
On a round robin of the panellists we learned, among other things that regardless of whether a deal is reached or not:
- that complex supply chains will come under pressure and may cause businesses to seek alternatives to their current processes;
- that London may cease to remain the magnet for talent in the fintech sphere that it currently is;
- that procedures at borders between the UK and the EU will become more complex and slow the movements of goods down significantly;
- and that the so called “land bridge” that the UK has provided up till now between Ireland and the rest of the EU will cause challenges for the importing and exporting of goods to and from Ireland, something which has already triggered a boosting of ferry capacity that circumvents the UK altogether, albeit in a limited way.
There followed some questions and answers with the audience covering issues such as the continued availability of insulin for diabetics in the UK, whether or not ferry capacity between Ireland and the rest of the EU ought to be subsidised in solidarity, whether no deal risked a deepening of acrimony with the start of a trade war and whether the panel thought that the UK might be let re-join the EU anytime in the near future.
There was a straw poll for the audience to participate in on whether they believed there would be a free trade agreement in place between the EU and UK on the 1st January 2020. A narrow majority of 43% believed there would be against 39% not and the remaining 18% indicating that there may be a provisional agreement in place pending further negotiations.
We would once again like to thank our panellists and moderator for a thoroughly invigorating and interesting discussion.
Naturally with such a discussion there are many nuances and plenty of detail which can be best observed directly via our recording of the event which is available here.