First Minister promotes investment in Scotland at Dublin corporate conference
IRELAND’S WEALTHIEST BUSINESSES have an ally in the Scottish Government when it comes to mitigating the threats of Brexit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told a gathering of corporate leaders this morning (Tuesday 29 November) at a Dublin conference.
Around 130 leaders from firms including Microsoft, Aer Lingus, Diageo, Accenture, and Ulster Bank attended the Ibec business event – which focused on business policy and concerns over Tory Brexit plans.
Sturgeon told the gathering that her government would defend open trade and movement in the interests of capitalism in both countries.
“The ties between our governments, businesses, cultural organisations, universities and colleges, and our people are closer and stronger than ever.” Nicola Sturgeon
The event was the first discussion on Sturgeon’s final day in Dublin – ahead of her address to the Irish senate.
She told the audience: “The relationship between Scotland and Ireland is better now than it has ever been. The ties between our governments, businesses, cultural organisations, universities and colleges, and our people are closer and stronger than ever.
“A hard Brexit is likely to be the most damaging option for trade, jobs and our universities sector. We share the frustrations of the Irish business community about the lack of information we have, and the possibility of a hard Brexit.
“This is why we are we are determined to do all we can to mitigate the impact of Brexit and persuade the UK Government to retain single market membership. It is my firm belief that this position is in the interests, not just of Scotland, but of all the nations on these Islands. On virtually every issue of substance Ireland has a strong ally in Scotland and I look forward to working together to boost economic growth.”
“We share the frustrations of the Irish business community about the lack of information we have, and the possibility of a hard Brexit.” Nicola Sturgeon
Sturgeon also advertised Scotland as a positive place to investment and develop economic links.
The Irish business community – with close trade, import, and export links with the UK mainland – is threatened by the prospect of the UK cutting its ties with the world’s largest trading bloc.
One business leader at the event warned that there is hardening ill-feeling towards the UK due to the Tory government’s chaotic approach to Brexit – which still lacks even basic clarity over five months after the referendum.
The Scottish Government has been warmly welcomed in Dublin, including meetings with the Irish President Michael D. Higgins and foreign minister Charlie Flanagan.
Sturgeon becomes the first serving head of government to address the Seanad.
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