The British-Irish Chamber of Commerce has called for the establishment of a “Shared Island Fund” to help boost the economic relationship between Ireland and the UK post-Brexit.
In its pre-budget submission, the Chamber said the fund could help traders and encourage research partnerships.
It also called for targeted supports for agri-food firms, and the expansion of Ireland’s UK diplomatic presence beyond London.
Trade between the UK and Ireland amounts to €90 billion a year.
In its budget submission today, the Chamber also urged the Government to adopt key measures to keep Ireland competitive, including leveraging other taxation levers to attract foreign direct investment and the reform of the Capital Gains Tax.
Paul Lynam, Director of Policy at the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said that although the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has given businesses across these islands much needed certainty, the new trading relationship is not without its difficulties and obstacles.
“Irrespective of the extension of grace periods, these challenges are only set to multiply with new customs requirements and border controls set to be introduced over the coming six months,” Mr Lynam said.
He said that Budget 2022 can help vulnerable firms to navigate the changes that lie ahead while rebuilding the ties that bind the two islands together.
“A new ‘Shared Islands Fund’ is one innovative way of rebooting Ireland’s economic relationship with our nearest neighbour. Through investment in areas ranging from research and innovation to energy, we can herald in a new era for UK-Ireland trade,” he added.
He also said that in addressing short-term challenges, the Government must not lose sight of the need to invest in the future needs of Ireland.
“From infrastructure and sustainability to a greater focus on higher education and research, we must be prepared to reform and reinvigorate Ireland’s economy,” he stated.
“By moving from crisis to recovery and investing in our special relationship with the UK, Ireland can successfully confront the unprecedented challenges faced by businesses – big and small – and adopt the right suite of policies to best support them,” he added.