Taoiseach promises best Brexit deal possible at Letterkenny Business Lunch

first_imgAn Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told the Letterkenny Chamber that all scenarios are being planned for as Brexit presents one of the greatest challenges since Ireland’s independence.The Taoiseach was the guest speaker at the Letterkenny Chamber President’s Lunch this afternoon, where over 160 members turned out to hear the Fine Gael leader’s address. Varadkar said that the Government’s mission is to be behind towns such as Letterkenny and support development through maintaining a strong economy.He said: “Today Letterkenny is a modern vibrant town and retail hub with a highly successful Institute of Technology and that is a testament to many people’s efforts, including your own.“Letterkenny’s track record in attracting and retaining investment from leading multinationals like Pramerica, the largest employer in the North-West, is a strong endorsement of what this town has to offer. ”On Brexit, Varadkar said the Government is ‘working tirelessly to get the best possible deal for this country’. An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo Clive WassonVaradkar told the Chamber that Brexit presents one of the greatest challenges since independence and that plans are in plans for all scenarios, including a no deal.He said: “The Government has already approved a number of significant Brexit preparedness measures focused on East-West trade, including the preparation of our ports and airports to take account of a changed trading relationship with Britain post-Brexit.“This complements actions already taken including measures were announced in Budget 2018 and over €450m has already been allocated in business supports, including a €300m Brexit Loan Scheme for Business and a €25m Brexit Response Loan Scheme for the Agri-food sector.“I want to reiterate to this Chamber that it is our desire that there will be the closest possible relationship between the EU and the UK after Brexit.”Photo Clive WassonVaradkar shared the Government’s commitment to protecting the Good Friday Agreement and concluding the Withdrawal Agreement which encompasses the backstop, as well as the need to protect the EU’s Single Market.“You can be sure that the Government will be deeply engaged and vigilant on all aspects of Brexit in the weeks ahead. We will bring home the best deal possible and we will stand our ground,” Varadkar said. His speech ended with a message of hope ahead of the challenges Brexit may present to local businesspeople:The Taoiseach said: “When Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce was founded there was a great deal of hope it would open up this part of the country to the rest of the world, during a time of challenge and opportunity.“Today we face new challenges and new opportunities, but the same spirit of optimism, courage, and enterprise which motivated your forebears will help us prevail.”Letterkenny Chamber President Leonard Watson. Photo Clive WassonPresident of the Letterkenny Chamber Leonard Watson spoke on behalf of 250 businesses in the North West when he told the Taoiseach that members are still genuinely concerned about Brexit. Mr Watson told the Taoiseach: “We have welcomed your commitment, and consistent line in terms of the border and a special case for the island, but it seems like a no deal scenario looks more possible than ever.“I just want to emphasise that we are one of the most vulnerable areas.  Any hardening of the border could bring immense difficulties and will deter investment. Our councils on both sides of the border are willing and open to help businesses but uncertainty is not good for business.“We cannot emphasise enough and at every opportunity how important a Brexit deal that acknowledges the unique position of Ireland and the border counties. We hope and I know you will remain steadfast in your commitment during these delicate negotiations.”Mr Watson outlined key plans for the growth of Letterkenny and the North West Strategic Growth Partnership. An ambitious plan for Letterkenny would see the town growing by 50% to a population of 35,000 in the next 10-15 years, he said. Public sector support is necessary to achieve this growth, mainly by addressing infrastructure issues, Mr Watson said.Mr Watson called for funding and support to progress the TEN-T strategic routes proposal for Donegal and for further effort to make the A5/N2 from Derry to Monaghan a reality.Mr Watson said: “All the stakeholders here in Letterkenny and across the region, have worked hard over the years to create what is now a vibrant town steeped in heritage, rich in enterprise and alive with ambition.“We hope that with the support of you and your government and with funding for infrastructure to match, this will help us deliver on our shared ambitions.”Taoiseach promises best Brexit deal possible at Letterkenny Business Lunch was last modified: September 11th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:An Taoiseach Leo Varadkarbusiness lunchLetterkenny Chamberlast_img

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