Report: Trade with Europe cushioned Brexit blow for Cork

It also said that as the EU’s second-largest English-speaking city, Cork has the potential to become a particularly attractive location for international students.
Report: Trade with Europe cushioned Brexit blow for Cork

The Port of Cork has seen its number of direct shipping routes to continental Europe increase as producers look to avoid the UK land-bridge. Picture: Larry Cummins

WHILE Brexit has had an impact across many sectors in the South West, in particular in agriculture, finance, and industry, a new report shows that Cork’s long history of trade with Europe has helped to cushion the worst effects of Brexit for the city and the wider region.

The report, ‘Cork and the Brexit Effect’, published by University College Cork, looked at Brexit’s consequences for the Cork region.

It was developed with local business, the tourism sector, higher education, and arts and culture stakeholders across Cork.

The report noted that relations and links between Cork, the North, and the UK have been affected by the fallout from Brexit.

It showed, however, that while visits to the Republic of Ireland from Britain and the North fell following Brexit, the Cork region was comparatively less affected by shifting tourist numbers than other parts of Ireland.

The report also suggests that Brexit has presented Cork with new opportunities and highlights how, since Brexit, the Port of Cork has seen its number of direct shipping routes to continental Europe increase as producers look to avoid the UK land-bridge.

It also said that as the EU’s second-largest English-speaking city, Cork has the potential to become a particularly attractive location for international students who might otherwise have chosen Britain for their studies.

The report includes recommendations about how Cork might capitalise on the post-Brexit environment through the advancement of trade connections, closer civic links, and more direct connections between Cork and various parts of the UK, including direct flights between Cork and Belfast.

It also proposes the development of an Island of Ireland Erasmus-style student mobility programme and the promotion of joint projects on sustainability, tourism, and inter-community understanding.

The report was officially launched at an event at UCC last night.

Welcoming the publication of the report, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “Brexit and the protocol have posed undoubted challenges across these islands. 

"The all-island economy, however, which involves working together, North and South, to meet the major strategic challenges we all face, has the potential to deepen co-operation in constructive and mutually-beneficial ways.

“This report highlights how such cooperation might be progressed and achieved here in Cork.”

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