Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson Niall Collins T.D has written to the Clerk of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation asking that an urgent meeting take place, and that Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor address members with an update on her Brexit “action plan”.

“The decision of the British people to leave the European Union represents one of the biggest threats in recent times to Irish exports and SME jobs,” explained Deputy Collins.

“Our economic ties with the UK run deep. Britain is our biggest trading partner in Europe; second only to the United States in global exports. Irish companies export €14bn worth of goods and provide services worth €20bn to the UK every year. Brexit poses a real threat to our economic stability.

“As the outcome of Brexit becomes more apparent, Irish businesses need reassurance, stability and security in the face increasing uncertainty. The Euro’s rapid rise in value against sterling recently is reflective of this uncertainty and has already damaged the competitiveness of our exporters who rely very heavily on the UK market.

“Jobs have already been lost. For example we heard this week about how businesses are being forced to close in the mushroom industry, in Tipperary and Monaghan, as exchange rate challenges decimate their profit margins.

“Minister Mitchell O’Connor must, as a matter of urgency, brief the Committee on the concrete steps being developed and executed by her department, and provide a timetable of future planned actions,” added Deputy Collins.

“Ireland also needs to maximise any, and all, opportunities that emanate from a future Brexit. In particular, we need to attract multinational companies who are potentially seeking to relocate from the UK.

“Our Government must work with its European and UK colleagues to minimise any disruption to trade and investments. During future EU discussions, it must, as a priority, safeguard Irish interests.

“Fianna Fáil will discuss the impact of Brexit at its Parliamentary Party Think In this coming Monday, where a number of external experts will examine the issues at stake, and provide insight into what we can do to mitigate any risks”, concluded Deputy Collins.