Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson; EU Commissioner Phil Hogan and Liz Grace, Partner, Matheson
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan and Matheson Managing Partner Michael Jackson talk current Brexit negotiations.
EU Commissioner Phil Hogan
Commissioner Hogan spoke to Matheson on the current Brexit negotiations. He said its been a frustrating period for all involved but with recent progress being made he sees a chance to build and push forward.
“A lot of people on the European Union side are very frustrated at the lack of movement by the negotiators of the UK side in terms of the first phase of those negotiations on the financial settlement, on the citizens’ rights and on the Irish border question.
“[Prime Minister Theresa May] indicated that there’s going to be a transition agreement, that there is going to be movement in relation to the areas that are part of the essential first phase of the negotiations so that we can build on that momentum now in next week’s negotiations to have a UK-EU future relationship where we can work closely together.”
Though no EU-US agreement exists in a formal sense, Commissioner Hogan highlights the business between the States and the EU and sees a prominent partnership even in these current times.
“There is a lot of activity economically between [the US and the EU] that goes on irrespective of how relationships are on a political level.
“Even though there is not a formal arrangement between the United States and the European Union, there’s a lot of activity in so many sectors. This is creating jobs for the United States companies in Europe and a lot of jobs for European companies in the United States.”
He also wishes to see the UK finalise its position on the economic border between the island of Ireland and the UK:
“We have some contradictions in the statements from the UK side at the moment where they’re saying, in good faith, that they want to see a ‘frictionless’ border.
“But at the same time they want to go out of the customs union and the single market. Those are contradictory and irreconcilable policy positions. So we have to see in the negotiations if Prime Minister May is prepared to move on those issues and at least stay in the customs union.”
See the full interview below with EU Commissioner Phil Hogan:
Matheson Managing Partner Michael Jackson began by underlining the lack of clarity in the Brexit negotiations.
“It’s been a difficult time for clients and most of them have now moved forward and decided that in the absence of clarity they’re going to have to make some decisions; they’re going to have to make sure that they’ve guaranteed themselves access to the EU markets over the next period.
“And so they have taken steps to put in place Brexit implementation plans and to expand in many cases their operations in Ireland to look at ways in which they can adapt supply chains to ensure continued access to the market.”
When asked if Mr Jackson saw opportunities for urban centres outside of Dublin such as Cork when it comes to investment linked to Brexit, he said: “Absolutely. Just as in Britain not all businesses dawn from London; so too in Ireland, not all businesses dawn from Dublin.
“And I see huge opportunities for Cork and other regional centres to assist in the prevision of solutions to companies facing challenges from Brexit.
“There’s a history in the regions in Ireland of supporting multinational investment that’s not just in Cork, it’s in centres like Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Kilkenny and in the north-west.”
See the full interview below with Matheson Managing Partner Michael Jackson: