The British Ambassador to Ireland has made his first visit to Shannon today to familiarise himself with the area, meet key business executives and hear first-hand the issues of concern to business regarding Brexit.
In office since last August, Robin Barnett’s visit was organised by Shannon Chamber and hosted in Lufthansa Technik’s aircraft maintenance facility at Shannon Airport.
Ambassador Barnett was given a tour of the maintenance facility, an overview of the company’s operations, a briefing on Shannon Chamber’s activities and an open discussion on potential areas for collaboration between Ireland and the UK pre and post Brexit.
Referring to Brexit, Ambassador Barnett said that the world would not end as a result of a single event, that Brexit is not a zero-sum game and that there will be positive partnership opportunities between Ireland and UK companies.
“There are untapped mutual opportunities in areas such as Medtec which need to be explored,” he stated.
Whilst not willing to enter into any discussions concerning politics as his position is apolitical, Ambassador Barnett did refer to the agri-sector stating that if the 400,000 tonnes of Irish beef currently being exported to the UK were to be stopped post Brexit, they would have to go to other EU countries and the impact on prices would be enormous.
“Be assured that there are a lot of dedicated people in Ireland working to prepare the ground for what’s ahead. The EU negotiation mandate will most certainly have Ireland on it,” he added.