Brexit an opportunity for Ireland – British-Irish Chamber Report
By Aoileann Ní Bhroin
Posted: 15 September, 2017
In his introduction to the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Policy Paper “The Challenges and Opportunities for the Higher Education and Research Sector”, John McGrane, Director General, British Irish Chamber of Commerce comments “Brexit also provides an opportunity for Ireland to become a location of choice for students, academics and researchers while attracting more investment in research. However, failure to grasp these opportunities and deal with the challenges presented can significantly undermine our education system and weaken Ireland’s research base. Budget 2018 provides the ideal opportunity for the Government to outline its commitments to the sector for the years ahead.”
“The Chamber believes that with the right support from the State, this sector can not only overcome the challenges of Brexit, it can positively thrive.”
Chamber Chair, Dr. Daire Keogh adds “Brexit poses significant challenges to these vital relationships, although soundings suggest a desire for a ‘comprehensive’ solution on the part of both British and EU negotiators. The British Prime Minister prioritised ‘Science, Research, and Innovation’ in her 12 point exit plan and did not exclude paying into European programmes, such as Erasmus and successors to Horizon 2020. Michel Barnier, for his part, confirmed EU ambitions for post-Brexit educational relationship with the UK, within a new legal and financial framework. Such sentiments are to be welcomed, and more recently Kurt Deketelaere, secretary of the League of European Research Universities, has argued that ‘Brexit will not happen’ in the research and innovation space.
Nevertheless, there can be no complacency in Ireland regarding the potential of Brexit to damage the educational and research ties, established through generations of collaboration, between Britain and Ireland.”